“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
I love books. There’s just no other way around it. Once I learned how to read, it was all over. I can remember as a child, collecting all of my books in paper shopping bags and keeping them all around my bed. As I got older, I began to alphabetize and organize my books and from there it wasn’t a stretch to begin cataloguing them on 3 x 5 lined index cards. Eventually the index card system migrated onto my computer and much, much later, was abandoned. Now my “library” is more free-form, and undergoing a process of careful cultivation wherein the “less worthy” books are being recycled at local donation centers. My newer book acquisitions are coming as a result (mostly) of careful reflection and consideration as to whether there is a rat’s chance in hell that I will actually read the book at some point in my lifetime. That’s actually become my most relevant litmus test when considering whether to buy a book or not – will I actually read it? It was Mark Twain who once said: “Classic’ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”
I don’t want my library to be filled with books that stand no chance of ever being read and I am going through the process or weeding out those that I won’t be reading in order to make room for those that I will.
Now, all that being said, I recently finished reading my very first e-book (via my Kindle). I’ve had the Kindle, and an iPad, for a few years now, but have not really embraced the reading capabilities of either machine. Indeed, the primary function of my iPad is for ease of email accessibility, note-taking in meetings, and as a source of music. My Kindle has essentially been a wallflower as I had not been using it at all – although I was quite excited when I learned that all of the Wizard of Oz books are free and subsequently downloaded most of them. However, it was only very recently that I decided to actually try reading a book and it was inspired by one of my online buddies (Sharmila) who had suggested a book which I really didn’t feel like buying but which, upon some brief Amazonian research, was easily accessible for download so I bought it, and I read it. It was a relatively easy read and I do find the reading of books to be a bit more palatable on my Kindle as compared to the iPad. And, I confess, I do like the idea that you can carry an entire, and virtual, library around with you anyway in one small device. I have to admit, there is something to be said for that. Anyhow, I have recently started reading a second e-book on my Kindle with the intention that I will also read that in its entirety.
However, that doesn’t mean I plan on ceasing book-buying at any time in the near future. Indeed, in recent months I have been on a bit of a book buying spree although I think that spree is starting to wane now. Well, after all, one does have to make some time to actually read the books that one buys. And in that vein, I am currently reading four or five books:
Passages in Caregiving by Gail Sheehy – a bargain book at B&N – timely for me
The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Fall River Press) – love this B&N edition
Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer – my current “bible”
The Wisdom of Compassion by the Dali Lama – a birthday gift from Laureen
The Falconer by Grant Lichtman – my e-book “professional development” read
So – that’s what I’m reading at the moment. Of course, I do tend to surround myself with books. I have books on my desk here at work, along with bookcases filled with books – both professional and personal. And I have many, many, many books at home. It is my hope that in our next house I will be able to devote a room to the creation of a real library. Anyhow, I could probably ramble on for a few more pages but now I’m getting a bit of a hankering to do some reading. . .