I’ve been fascinated by books forever, probably since I was a year old and got my very own first book: Cable Car Joey. We lived in Palo Alto, just outside San Francisco, and I’m told I liked to ride the cable cars. So, Cable Car Joey. I still have the book.
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
I love all books, but I love old books, especially. The musty smell in itself is like an adventure: Hello book, where have you been, who have you met, why do you smell so good?
And, I love bookstores and libraries. I’m a junkie. Until a few years ago when I started to downsize, I still had every book I’d every owned, several rescued from dumpsters and elsewhere, and castoffs from friends. Now that I’m downsized to just the very few I really can’t live without, I spend even more time in bookstores and libraries.
I really like bookstores with comfy chairs and sofas to sit and read a bit; those with coffee are even nicer. But I love them all. I love the quaint ones with bells on the door and a resident cat, big, old rambling bookstores, bookstores in old buildings with many floors and confusing staircases, little ones, big ones, old or new, and yes, even big box bookstores. They are all places to spend hours just browsing, reading and soaking up the total joy of having so many books together in one place!
Libraries, too. We’ve got wonderful libraries where I am now and I’m known by sight, if not by name, at the main branch. I frequently choose to spend my daily writing time in one of the many magnificent spots they’ve designed for writers and students. And, then I browse the shelves and catalog until I find more books to put on my already lengthy hold list.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen, “Enough Bookshelves,” New York Times, 7 August 1991
The greatest gift we can give anyone is the love of reading. I consider myself fortunate: my mother read to me often when I was young, and took me to the library for my first card when I could barely print my name. I’ve had a book in hand nearly every day since. The love of books and reading is the greatest gift my mother ever gave me.
Well, that and the advice to marry a man with a good sense of humor, one who would always make me laugh. One who, apparently, would also just shake his head and laugh as he moved my many, many boxes of books several times over thirty years.