Books, books everywhere and not a thing to read

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I didn’t know reading made me weird or a nerd or unusual until Middle School. I was publicly shamed for reading a book. By a teacher. Ok, so I was reading Gone with the Wind during math class, but hey, at least I was reading and not doodling or blowing things up or something disruptive or non-educational. My mom said pretty much the same thing to the teacher when he called me on it during a parent-teacher conference. My mom was a reader too. She understood. Besides she made the excellent point that if I had an A (which I did) and I was not disturbing other kids (which I was not) exactly what was the problem. Teachers hated my mom.

I love reading and I also love books. I like the act of reading a book, turning the pages, the crisp, clean smell of a new book or the musty funk of an old one. I’m not sure I could ever adjust to an electronic reader. How would I turn down the corner of a page to hold my place? I’m also hard pressed to let a book go. Books are one of the few things that survived nearly all of my 14 moves in my 2os. I sold back text books and the errant novel when I was truly desperate for cash, but for the most part I simply added (and added and added) to my collection.

My books aren’t fancy, although I do have some signed ones. My books aren’t rare, but some, especially some of the cookbooks, are out of print. I might own 3 copies of the Joy of Cooking from 3 different decades. And I love them all. Some are still in boxes because we don’t have room in our house for all of my books. (And my husband’s books. We book nuts attract each other, I guess.) Right now, we have 4 overflowing floor to ceiling bookcases, two smaller bookcases, a cookbook only bookcase and I have stacks of books on my nightstand. I have a problem.

Some highlights:

My signed copy of Drop City. I love, love, love TC Boyle and I went to a reading and good this one signed and he complimented my shoes. Score!

My mom’s copy of Frugal Gormet.  Say what you will about Jeff Smith, this is a really good cookbook. His PBS show was a mainstay in our house growing up and the cookbook opens to a very stained and splattered chicken piccata recipe with my mom’s handwritten changes.

Ellen Tebbits. I don’t even know how many times I have read this book. It is one of my all time childhood favorites. I have know idea how I have managed to hold on to it for all these years.

And my all time best used book score, my matched set of the Incarnations of Immortality series. I borrowed them for a friend the first time I read them and managed to put together my own set over the years by scouring used book stores and thrift stores for matching covers.

For those of you expected an homage to glass chickens, it turned in to a maudlin meditation on loss and estate sales. In short, a post for another day.

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2 Responses to “Books, books everywhere and not a thing to read”

  1. Suzanne says:

    I’d still like to see the chickens sometime.

    I have a TON of books, although a large number of them are cheap crappy paperbacks my husband has brought home or textbooks no one would take back. My signed books are all limited to children’s books – although I have a TON of those, thanks to a grandmother who was a children’s literature professor and Illinois State for many many years.

    I think an e-reader is going to be my last hold out on the technology front. You can tear my books from my cold dead fingers.


  2. […] I am talking about books? Besides the fact that I love them, I have a giveaway for you! A $25 Barnes and Noble Gift card in fact. So you can buy awesome books […]

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