Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For the Love of Books

Chapter One  -
in which a girl learns to read
and escapes to many worlds
but always returns home for dinner with her family

I cannot remember learning how to read. I remember Dick and Jane but not the struggle to decipher the letters and words. Once I did learn, I was off like a rocket, devouring every printed word I could come across. My younger sister and brother say their only childhood memories of me were with my nose in a book.

I've spent the past 5 weeks here, with a few days off last week to help with the new baby, in the school library, surrounded by books. I arrange the shelves, neatly pulling the books out to the front of the shelf, shelving them by strict alphabetically (or numerical) order. 

And I am overwhelmed.

I recognize many of the books and have the time to open a favourite, read a chapter, then close the book and put it back. Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Jane Austen, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien - their stories live on and on. Newer authors like Tom Clancy, JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Alice Munro and Bernard Cornwall. Classics, adventure, romance, magic and more reside on these shelves.

How to choose what to read?

So many books. I love to re-read the good ones, savouring the knowledge of the story's end as I bask in the beauty of the language. 

My library time comes to end this Friday when classes end. I'll miss it. The library is a busy place, full of students coming and going, studying, choosing books for pleasure, visiting with friends. They energize me with their youthful enthusiasm. 

How do you decide which books to read? 


  1. I like to check the book section of thrift stores and have come up with several new favourite authors as a result. I listen to recommendations from others as well (my sister Kari and her hubby Ken are very well read and I value their opinions. I haven't been to the library much in these last years but I think I should start up again.

  2. I love seeing photos of bookshelves and trying to see what books are there.
    I was the only child in the house who read. I even had a bookshelf in my bedroom! My brothers were active in sports instead.
    Most of my books these days come from the charity shops. Cover design goes in fashions so, although I'm not supposed to, I let the cover attract me. Then I read the blurb on the back to decide if it's coming home with me.xx

  3. As a child one of my greatest pleasures was going to the public library to choose a new book or books.
    What a great job!

  4. Oh I always enjoyed working in the library. What a great light-filled one that is!

    How do I decide? Often on a recommendation and then I often read books in the same genre or books that were written by an author I've come to enjoy. The most recent was discovering Elizabeth Goudge via those who recommended her right here in Blogdom and reading everything that I could get my hands on written by her.

    Sadly, I do not read as much as I once did because my time is given over to reading posts, which I enjoy enormously.

  5. I think I'd really enjoy working in a library. Lately I've chosen books that I've heard about from other bloggers. I also go on binges. I realize series I've never read like all the Anne books. I finally read them and was delighted. I was introduced to Goudge via a blog and went on a quest to find as many of her books I could at thrift stores. (not easy) Some libraries carry some of her books. I re-read Tolkien and C.S. Lewis every few years. Enjoy your time off. Do you go back after summer?

  6. Our family did not grow up with a TV (my parents chose not to have one when everyone else was getting one) and therefore we read voraciously for our entertainment. Now a days I find it harder to sit down long enough to focus on a book, but when I do it's usually one that is recommended to me by another reader!

  7. This is a beautifully written post, Lorrie. The first photo features some favourite books of mine. My love of libraries goes back to childhood and still has a strong grip on me. Sometimes I'll browse through the shelves, at others I'll look at a best-seller list and then put a "hold" at the library for a particular volume. Likewise with recommendations from friends. (Not to neglect my Kindle, which houses a collection of classics.) I enjoyed this post very much.

  8. I've always been a reader too. I've found that it's harder now to actually sit down and get lost, because there is always something else that needs to be done. Last month I declared that Sundays would be my reading day... so far, so good!

  9. That was me too, Lorrie - always with a book, always! Right now I'm away working on the mainland and I'm halfway through Michael Ondaatje's The Cat's Table - liking it very much!

  10. Another nose-always-in-a-book childhood reader here! And I had the good fortune to work in a library most of my teen years, and now, to work with books and get paid for it!
    I choose books now mainly through books reviews as well as by direct recommendation from friends, family, or colleagues. And I try to follow authors whose earlier work I like.
    Sadly, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to browse a bookstore -- really good independent booksellers are a great source of new titles -- the bigger guys can make recommendation as well, but tend to be pushed a bit more by publishers. And library shelves, where a reader can afford to take a chance on a new author or title, I do wish I had more time for that. Retirement . . .

  11. I was a nose-in-a book child also...both my parents read and still do..I loved reading in the car..outside under the trees and even the bathroom..I visit the library almost daily...recommendations from a fiction book site...book reviews in newspapers...etc...nothing is more exciting than to crack open a new book by a favorite author..

  12. Oh yes..nose in a book and occasionally my mom would insist I go ride my bike for heaven's sake! I used to love libraries, especially children's lubraries. Then I became an honest to goodness MLS...a professional librarian. I still love reference work, am hooked on non-fiction and usually annoyed with new fiction books I try reading. Old favorite authors still are the best. Most librarians drive me nuts though. You wouldn't believe how crazy most of them are!

  13. Lorrie, I adore talking about books. I find suggestions everywhere. Obviously even from complete strangers who sit next to me in airports. My favorites are usually books that were never on my radar. I hope you are feeling better. Bonnie

  14. Lorrie - you must really have enjoyed your library assignment. I've always loved books and libraries. I joined the Victoria Public library at the age of 5. If you could print your name you could get your own card. I've never been without a library card since. Recently, I've been asked to serve on the local Library and Archives Board so will begin a 3 year term in the fall.


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