Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On Devouring Books

I can't really describe how much I enjoy reading. Maybe that's why I don't remember a time I was ever bored. I mean, there is always something to read or something to think about. So today I added the area on the blog where I list what I'm currently reading, with the intention of briefly reviewing them as I go along. I can't possibly imagine catching up with reviews of all the books I've previously read in the past few decades, but over time I'll post a list of my all-time favorites on here.

Generally I read any number of books at the same time, opening up one or the other depending on what mood I'm in. So perhaps I'm inquisitive one day and want to read ethics or philosophy. Or perhaps I'm on the beach and want to read a novel. (Don't scoff fiction--you can actually learn things through reading fiction, and there can be redemptive qualities in many narratives, i.e. there is fiction that edifies). Frequently, as my husband can attest, the pile on my bedside table grows until it collapses onto the floor without warning (even in the middle of the night when my pillow bumps it in my sleep, taking my thick eyeglasses with it!) Hopefully I notice the glasses before I trample them in the morning in a sleeply haze.

So a current problem in our home is the fact that we have run out of bookshelves for all of the books! Our daughter has her own little bookshelf which is short where she can reach it, and she just seems to be getting more interested in me reading her books about the alphabet and numbers, so we have it well stocked for her to get to at her leisure. And we have filled the bookshelves in our study to the brim, with the unsightly placement of books in every crevice including lodged sideways and on top of the once neatly arranged line-up. When we moved into this house I arranged all the books topically, so all the medical ones had a place, all the Bible commentaries had another place, all the biographies another. And my husband's WWII books had their own entire bookcase. In addition to these crowded crevices there are now stacks of books in the corner of the study. I've neatened them as best I can so that the titles are visible and accessible, but still. And next to them are the growing stack of hematology and oncology journals that my husband reads. I still stifle a laugh that one journal is simply called "Blood."
We also have several stacks in our bedroom. I'll admit sometimes I read in a bubblebath (only once did I drop a library book in --a collection of short stories by Brett Lott that was excellent. Don't worry I replaced it at the church libary with a new one and they even offered me the now-dried-wrinkled one to keep. ). So anyway, there is a stack by the bathtub as well. Downstairs in the family room I've tried to stash books we are currently reading here and there. There isn't room for a bookshelve in that room so I've found some places to line a few titles up between bookends out of reach of the baby and without making the room look cluttered--like on top of the upright piano and at one end of the mantle. In the kitchen the cookbooks (which I also like to simply sit and read at times) are in one of the cabinets, taking up precious space that pots and pans would probably prefer to occupy.

So, needless to say, I've got to find more shelves, and recently undertook a hunt for affordable glass-fronted bookcases. I really hate books getting dusty (especially given how how it makes my eyes water and sneezing to occur when I pull them out), so I've been poking around antique stores with my eyes open lately.