What do your books say about you? When you look at someone's library, what do their books tell about them? And what do we do with books we no longer need or want.
|One things my bookshelves say about me is I have a hard time letting any of them go!|
I know a little about this because I have books two-deep on more than a few shelves. And don't think I don't weed out the books. Those are the keepers.
And what's on that keeper list? You can pretty much break it down into a few categories.
Books on England (especially London, but all England) and Paris.
That includes guide books but it also includes fiction and non-fiction about those places. It may well include a biography or two or a book set in one of those areas. A number of those are related to World War I and II (which could be a category by itself. A few of the titles? "The Red Notebook," "The Nightingale," "Paris" (by Edward Rutherfurd), "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" and lots of maps, history and guide books.
|Just a tiny part of the England and Paris shelves. The "tall" books are in a separate spot and these are two-deep, too.|
(There's also a smaller travel section with some American destinations as well as Japan.)
So, what does that say about me? I love travel, I love those particular destinations, I love history and English literature.
And do I go back to them often? You bet. Especially the map and guide books but others as well.
My favorite reading category! What do I keep? Mostly series. Pretty much every Agatha Christie, most bought used, paperback and probably at a dollar apiece. All the Louise Penny, Deborah Crombie, Jacqueline Winspear and Susan Elia Macneal series and growing series by Christopher Fowler, Susan Hill and Cara Black series. And a few other favorites.
|Mostly mysteries, mostly stacked two-deep.|
That category includes the ever-growing Maigret mysteries, the British Library Crime series (all reprints from the 20s/30s and wonderful) and a few singles. Pretty much all of those, apart from the Penny books, are set in England/UK or Paris.
|I adore the classic British Library crime series! The covers are fabulous, too!|
I love a good puzzle. Especially in two of my favorite countries.
OK, I'm a royal geek. I collect their commemorative china and books about them. I think I have biographies (authorized and not) for every monarch or major royal from Victoria through William and Harry, along with some Elizabeth I and Henry VIII (and his wives). A few are a little sleazy and I am a little more likely (not always) to pass those on. Most are fairly or very well researched, with good sources, bibliographies and notes.
|These are stacked two-deep too, and it doesn't count the 'tall" books!|
Seeing a theme here? And yes, I refer back to them. Often (and with just about every episode of "The Crown."
Art and Special Interest Books
Some of these fall under the umbrella of "coffee table books" but I kind of hate that term. I look at those books, read them, refer back to them. Some of them have wonderful text, like the books by Vivian Swift and Susan Branch or books about Beatrix Potter. I read them and refer to them and practice art by looking at their images.
|Some of my favorites. Artists who inspire me!|
Others might involve architecture (classic movie palaces and theatres), Shaker style, miniatures, puppets. Although I passed on much of my astrology collection, I still hold onto several of my favorites. Many of my art history books were lost in June's basement flood but those that were safe then are safe now -- Andrew Wyeth, Hirschfeld, Georgia O'Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, VanGogh.
|If this shelf wasn't behind a Christmas tree at the time, you would have seen a lot more!|
I don't hold onto a lot of fiction anymore but there are some with which I'll never part. "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks remains a favorite. So does "Broken For You" and " All the Light We Cannot See." There are others too.
|All keepers. Most (not all) bios and a few suspense books, too!|
I don't save every bio, but I do have a thing for the Mitfords, Evelyn Waugh, Anne Frank and any number of film or stage favorites. Or Julia Child. I think I have five or six Julia bios. And her cookbooks. Which brings me to...
I could use some purging here. I did one huge purge of most "local" cookbooks. But I can't say farewell to Julia, Ina, Nigella, Irma Rombauer (all versions -- I still go back to my mom's 1950 for one of my favorite recipes). There are lots of autographed cookbooks from PBS days, ones I've picked up traveling, great gifts. Junior League cookbooks always deliver. Sometime I'll do a post on just cookbooks and what they tell us about how cooking has changed.
|The recipes rarely fail -- if they do, it's user error!|
And yes, I use them. Not all of them. But I use them. And I'm pretty good at it. Though, I would be better if I used them more!
|Not a cookbook but one of the best books I read all year!|
People ask me how I get books. Buy or library? Paper or Kindle? How I store them (I think you get the idea here). I'll have another post on books coming up soon. Weigh in with what your books say about you! Are they on bookshelves, your night stand, the bathroom? (Don't laugh. It's a great place for short essays and poetry.) Please tell me about your relationship with books!
|Do you have any of your childhood books left?|
I'd love to know!
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