Thursday, December 3, 2009

1. Books

For as long as I can remember, my Christmas list has started the same way:

1. Books

That's really all I ever wanted. Sometimes I would attach handwritten lists of books, sometimes I would just ask for gift certificates, but the end result was always the same. I remember getting a stack of paper gift certificates from my grandma every birthday and every Christmas. I would search high and low for that thin envelope, bypassing big boxes with dolls and bikes. Inside would be a cream colored stack of thick paper, each certificate worth $10. If you had change left over, they would give it back to you in cash and I always made sure to tuck the cash back into the envelope with the other certificates so that the money would be used for books.

This year, I asked for an e-reader, specifically the Barnes & Noble nook, after a long conversation with myself on whether I could handle it or not. I'm a reader, but I'm also a book-lover. The look, the feel, the smell, the crack of the spine when you bend it back. That's one of the reasons I never favored libraries; I want to OWN my books, in every sense of the word. I write in them, I bend them, I fold the pages down; I use them and love them. My roommate says I destroy them, but he also has books that he's never read, that he just puts on a bookshelf, so you can see that we have some very basic differences here.

However, the lure of portability, convenience, affordability, and increased space won out. When I go on a week-long vacation, I have to pack 3-5 books. I only buy purses that fit books. I spend thousands a year on books. My books have taken over my room. I have a huge 5' x 5' bookcase in my room and I can't even contain my books in that. They're in the nightstand, on the desk, under the bed and in the closet. I used to be of the opinion that one did not give away books. That you read them and kept them, especially if you can re-read them in the future. I thought that until I moved out of my parents' house with its seemingly unlimited storage and into a small condo with Jon. I moved boxes of books to Jon's house, saw the size of my room, and thought "Where will I store all of these? In the bathroom cupboards?"

{my room looks so messy in this picture! i have cleaned it up
since then, but the book situation is still dire}

So began what is now a quarterly pruning of the books I didn't like, couldn't finish or will never read again. Ultimately, I want to keep more than I want to give away and I keep purchasing. The functionality of an e-reader was made for readers like me. I will still buy books by my favorite authors, I will still appreciate a vintage find of a favorite tale. But, for all the mass market paperbacks, the chick lit, the bargain books, I can use my nook. I won't ever have to pack a suitcase full of books again and I can pare down that bookshelf finally.

{one of the random shelves}

{my mostly children's books shelf}

{my philosophical shelf}

Books will still always be number one on my list and they're also my number one gifts to give; sharing a favorite book with someone is like letting them in on this amazing secret. In that vein, I'd so love to share some of my favorite books with you this month. Every day (hopefully), from tomorrow until Christmas, I'll review and link to one of my favorite books. The genres and topics will range from scientific non-fiction to humor to fiction to memoirs to children's books. There will also be a handy-dandy widget in the sidebar for you to go purchase any of these books you like! I guarantee you they'll all make great gifts!

1 comment:

  1. nice post :) books are always first on my list too although I don't think I could handle an e-reader... i love to hold books too much. and smell them.. :D

    can't wait to see some of your favs in the coming days


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