07 August, 2017


Hemingway once wrote, "There is no friend as loyal as a book."  He understood even then that BFF = Book Friends Forever.

Hi, my name is Duchess and I am a bookaholic.

As a self-professed biblioholic, I have loved and devoured books since I was two years of age.
It's true. I began with Golden Books but quickly moved to Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare. In the process, I somehow missed out on "kids books" from  Dr. Seuss or Winnie the Pooh until I became an adult.

Every year when I try to do some spring cleaning I approach the difficult task of culling through my books--in theory-- to weed out some of the excess. Then there have been the numerous and painful times when I was moving from one home or city to another and felt forced to reduce the number of boxes of books to transport.

There are still not enough shelves in my current home to accommodate all my friends.  I have books stacked on their sides, on top of each other and in nooks and crannies all over the house.  Yet, that doesn't stop me from frequenting bookstores and thrift shops for books. I don't always expect to buy anything but like the proverbial 'cat lady' if I see a special book lingering on the shelves, I buy it--even if I already have a copy...or two.  Hardbound books are my favorites. Owning several first editions gives me glee. And I have a great fondness for used books that have notes, highlighting, and inscriptions in them.  Somehow, seeing someone else's comments in a book along with their name and date they got the book gives me such a sense of connection and intimacy that I can barely contain myself.

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." 
George R.R. Martin

Then imagine my delight when last week while taking an extended walk on the trails in our housing complex, I saw a newly built lending library in a tree house.

Screeech! Stop the presses.  

Someone in the homeowners association proposed this idea, it passed and some angel built this castle  for all our neighbors.  (Insert squeals of delight here).  What a divine idea.

When I opened the doors, I was first greeted by the smell of freshly cut wood mingling with the scent of books.  Books of varying sizes and binding; varying topics and conditions.  Oh my.  I tried to quell my first initial response of longing to be the local librarian in charge.  After all, that is what I did with all the books I had as a kid.  When other kids were outside playing, I was creating my own card catalogue for each of my books along with the pleasure of stamping each person's card with a title and date as I loaned them the books out at school.

Suddenly, I was like a kid uncovering a treasure and I carefully walked over and opened the little glass doors.  It was true--there were books inside that I could take if I so chose.  Then the concept hit me--and I could bring books to leave here for others to read, too!  No more random abandoning the books to some sub-par thrift store experience, I could bring books here to this sweet little custom library.

I was suddenly giddy with the idea of not only donating some of the 'excess' bookage, but choosing one or two special books and leaving them inside in hopes that someone extra special would notice. That special person would see the book I left (for them) and scarcely contain their glee that something so wondrous could be waiting just for them to find. Not to mention the added plus of taking longer walks each day to see what books remain or have arrived.

 Kindle? Harrumph.

"No two persons ever read the same book."
Edmund Wilson

City Slackers

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