Is it possible to be a book glutton?

I just got back from the library, the third time in a week. I recently put holds on a few anticipated titles, and one by one they’ve arrived.  Given how little time I have in a day, acquiring a new stack is a bit unrealistic, but a library affords me the opportunity to pretend I will read each one before it is due.

There are five library cards in my wallet at all times– I suppose I never know when the urge will hit, and library hopping functions for me the way retail therapy excites someone else.

I have a Kindle and other e-reading apps with very interesting titles just waiting for me, but occasionally I don’t just want a physical book to hold, I also want to go to the library and bring it home. I would imagine this is a hold-over comfort from childhood.

Lee Lawrie relief figures over Flower Street Entrance

By the time I was ten years old I would walk to the library any time I chose and come home with as many books as I could carry. I know how young I must have been because I had the naive impression that if I started reading the authors alphabetically beginning with “A,” I could one day read all the books.

I was imaginative; I didn’t say “brilliant.”

 

Tile Roof

Even as a young girl I just couldn’t resist the lure of all those fascinating book covers and my mother gave permission to the librarian allowing me to read from the adult sections. I’m sure that for the most part I didn’t read anything questionable, but that changed when I got a little older.

Still too young, but in my teens, I very naively brought home Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” influenced by the author’s appearance on the Merv Griffin Show. To this day if the house gets too quiet and I get jumpy, scenes from that book are all too quick to come. It took me a few years to mature and make the connection that quality writing vividly draws the reader right into the scenes and there is risk in sharing experience with central characters.

But it’s also the pleasant pastime of escaping into a story that brings me back to the library.

 

West Entrance

I have several libraries close to my home, but I also enjoy visiting others, as I did just a few weeks ago at the San Diego Central Library with NY Times best-selling author and friend, Andra Watkins.

San Diego Central Library

 

Some libraries aren’t grand in stature, they’re just unique!

Little Free Libraries” fit right in with the Tiny House movement! This clever little library is in Northwest Pasadena, and the first I’ve run across.

For all the Doctor  Who fans out there, what do you think of the TARDIS?

Little Free Library

I think this is just too cool, and I have a little bit of “tiny” library envy developing.

Little Free Library founder, Todd H. Bol, recently received a commendation from the Library of Congress on behalf of his work to build literacy and create a community around that effort, and The Little Free Library is now included in the Library of Congress’s Best Practices in Literacy 2015 publication.

Perhaps if I ever take the leap my little library could be a giant tortoise with a brightly colored carapace opening to reveal its treasure.

Riding the rails? A tortoise?
Riding the rails? A tortoise?

I will be taking my fresh load of library books “on the road” for just a few days while we head to the Bay Area to visit our son and daughter-in-law. We have a few adventures planned.

I have been researching a particular place of interest, and perhaps I’ll post a few photos along the way, but in case we have to wait until next week, I’ll leave you with some clues.

I’m taking my library and adding wheels to research California’s connection to the Elizabethan Era.

Get ready–or maybe it’s “beware”…I feel a mini-lecture coming your way soon.

 

 

 

 

46 thoughts on “Is it possible to be a book glutton?

  1. You’ve got it bad, Debbie, but luckily it’s not terminal 🙂 I’m not quite that avid but I do get jittery if I can’t see a book nearby. I love the mini libraries notion (funny how things crop up- I was just reading about them elsewhere on the blogs 🙂 ). Have a super trip!

    1. I go “in and out” of these library obsessions, Jo. I may have recently overdone it…which will push me back to my Kindle. If I could just read half the night like I did when I was younger…that falling asleep early is a reader’s downfall. 🙂

  2. This post spoke to me on so many levels. I loved my school library but never really got into going to public libraries. We didn’t have one close enough that my mom would have allowed me to walk to. But I love them any way. And tiny house movement added to tiny library lending!!! BRILLIANT!!! I am captivated by the tiny house movement. And the only reason I hesitate to move into a tiny home is because of all my books!!!! (True story!) 🙂

    1. I completely understand your comment, Colleen, about what to do with the books if you made the leap “backwards” to a Tiny House! I absolutely feel that same concern. I love the concept of a Tiny House and think if it were placed in a beautiful location with a view, I’d be just fine! I suppose we’d need to let go of the physical books and go all e-book! Or, maybe a Tiny House pulling a book trailer-library? 🙂

  3. When I was in grade school (a parochial school) I read all the books in the very small library (maybe 100). They were all biographies of saints. For a long time I could tell you how every one died. Then I got a library card and routinely lugged home more books than I should be able to carry. Sometimes they were textbook types (on psychology or something else that looked interesting) and sometimes fiction or biographies (my favorite because of my early years). My mother encouraged reading and never screened any of my books. I finished YA books early and started reading Michener at 12. Then the world was my oyster. I read anything. Now my eyes tire or my head droops so I have to ration my time. What a pity. So many books so little time (I need that tee-shirt!)

    1. Your experience sounds so much like mine, Kate. I would bring home all those eclectic titles, too, thinking something just sounded interesting. I know that when I was a child there weren’t as many “distractions” pulling at me. Even entertainment options were much more limited than children experience today. I am grateful that I had that opportunity as a child to really relish what books and reading offered. But, as you describe, that “head drooping” starts earlier and earlier. If I could function the next day on little to know sleep I could start drinking coffee in the afternoons and I’d be awake much later…that’s a thought. 🙂

    1. This time tomorrow we will be on our way, and I’m really looking forward to it. My reading habits are directly affected by the problem of falling asleep too early! LOL! I just can’t read “into the night” like I once did, but that realization hasn’t stopped me from pretending otherwise. 🙂

  4. I share your love for libraries! Have fond memories from my childhood and from my kids’ childhoods from their “storytime” days there. Like you, I just wish I had more time to read! Your adventure sounds fascinating – will look forward to hearing all about it! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Kelly. I have been researching a particular aspect of history that surprised me, and I’m going to see for myself. I am fortunate that my son enjoys this kind of meandering, so we can visit while exploring. I think we who love reading need to slot time on our busy calendars just for that, don’t you think? 🙂

    1. That’s ultimately really true, Andrew! I think my children may have a few concerns that one day–a long, long, long time in the future, those books are their problem. LOL! I’ve also told them they have to go through each one because many of them are signed. And they thought that when mom purchased a Kindle the books would disappear. Hmmmm.

      1. I get the same thing from our kids. I just tell them, “When you’ve taken YOUR boxes you’ve stored in MY shed, we’ll have a conversation about the books.”
        That keeps ’em quiet for months…

  5. Beth Gramling

    Love You my favorite Book Lover!! Have a wonderful trip north and thank goodness for short trips! PS Laughing about Darwin hitting ‘the rails’!!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  6. It’s funny; I have all the same great library memories as you, including the wish to read everything and thus bringing home the occasional book that I wasn’t yet ready for (yet always learned something from).
    I loved the shape and feel and weight and especially the scent of books. I thought I could NEVER learn to love reading on a screen. But I’ve reached the point where if I can’t read it on my iPad, it’s likely to sit in a stack and never get read. It’s been a long time since I’ve bought, or even borrowed, a physical book. I guess I’m a convert. That still surprises me sometimes.
    The last time I was in my local library (which is only two blocks away) it was to give a homebrewing demonstration at a skills fair!

    1. You really have been converted if the library is that close and you don’t use it! I do think that reading on my iPad or Kindle is tremendously convenient and I prefer reading them in bed over a physical book. I ended up with a Kindle after falling asleep a couple of times and the iPad hitting the floor! I decided a Kindle was a lot less expensive if I was going to risk dropping it! The truth is that I have piles either from the library, my own shelves, or dozens of un-read titles on the e-readers, and they amass faster than I ever could read. Still, it’s a pleasure and most of the time I just determine that I’m not hurting anyone. I think most people who really enjoy reading have the same problem in some form. 🙂 I’m so amused that you, too, had the same idea that you could read all the books in the library. I don’t actually remember when the lightbulb went on and I figured out that was impossible. It’s so nice to hear from you, my friend.

  7. Oh, dear friend, were you talking about me? Yes you were. tee hee I’ve been known to library hop, and just came back from one of my favorites, where I needed to pay a fine, them promptly took out four more books, ran a few more errands, then somehow managed to go into another library. Sigh.
    One of my favorite things to do when traveling is visiting local libraries. One of my favorites was the Free Library in Concord, MA.
    Enjoy your visit and your exploring.

    1. Ha! I should have known you’d have a purse with multiple library cards, too, Penny! Library hopping. That’s a great term for it. 🙂 I think it’s very possible that the you were the first person to introduce me to the Little Free Libraries. I just learned today that a friend of mine is putting the finishing touches on one and I can’t wait to see it and what she’s done. I’m so taken with them! We’ll have to compare book lists one of these days, my friend. ox

      1. I am a hopeless bibliophile. Actually, only one card from the library I belong to, but, can use in a vast library system spanning two counties. I need someone to keep a rein on me. Tom gave up long ago. 🙂 Right now, reading “The Orphan Train” for next week’s book discussion.
        Can’t wait to hear about your friend’s Little Free Libraries. It is funny. Once you see one, you start seeing them all around.

  8. Debra I totally share in your love for books and libraries! I still remember carrying this giant cloth book bag into the library, filling it to the point where my brother and I had to carry it back together, and maxing out my card limit every month. Those habits have stuck except now it’s Amazon haha! I am also very guilty of getting into book buying or borrowing binges and accumulating large stacks of books…that I don’t have a chance to crack open until sometimes months later! But I love, love reading a good book, especially on a cold day (and with our winters here, that makes for lots of book reading in the coming months!). I supposed this makes me a book glutton, too 😉 enjoy your travels!

  9. Libraries are a measure of civilization. These days, they seem to be “old school.” Question: In your library hopping, how many young people do you see actively engaged in using libraries? A good library will sponsor events that draw young people. I’m hoping that a good experience when young will keep people coming in for the rest of their lives.

  10. What other books are in your stack, Debra?

    I’m participating in a fundraiser this weekend to start a Little Free Library program in Charleston. I hope it has a great turnout! I donated a memoir to San Diego’s LFL. It was fun to put it in the box and to see it next to very famous authors, but not nearly as fun as spending so much time with you.

    I hope you have a great visit to SF and look forward to your Elizabethan posts.

  11. The simple answer to your question is, of course, ‘No.’

    🙂

    I don’t go to the library any more because I get so many free books from BookBub for my Kindle. I have found many great series that way; plus, they take up no room at all. But I do love holding a proper book and I have hundreds crowding my house. You can never have too many books, even if you don’t read them all. On the whole ‘gluttony is a bad thing’ thing, I’d say that’s absolutely true except in the case of books.

    I love the Doctor Who library! Especially the relationship status sticker. The Last Centurion episodes are my favourite because that’s when Rory became my favourite-ever sidekick. He might look weedy but he has incredible strength of character and absolute love for Amy. The Hub is my Centurion, but without the weediness. He would wait 2000 years for me: I know it with absolute certainty. You can’t put a price on that kind of love; but you can find it outside of books 🙂

    1. I love what you have to say about Dr. Who. I was so late to learn of this series that I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to get caught up. It is really about as unique a series as I can recall across my lifetime! I’m far from an expert, but when I saw the Little Library I just fell in love with it. I know what you mean about BookBub, and my Kindle is very well-stocked, too. I still enjoy the library, although the piles of books at home that haven’t yet been read does seem a little confusing to someone who isn’t a reader. But we readers get it entirely! There might at times be “enough,” but there could never be too many! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the word gluttony. I think we can agree that in books and reading material, call it whatever you want. We won’t be shamed. LOL!

  12. I too love books! I don’t have an e reader as I still like holding a physical book. I’m not ready to give that up yet. That said with our upcoming travels, an e reader would be far more practical. Happy reading Debra!

    1. I think with your travels you might find an e-reader a very valuable new friend, Kristy. 🙂 I must say that it’s very convenient to carry so many books with you wherever you are, and they don’t take up any space. I do love having a book in my hand, but once you start reading you get involved in the book and the device is less of a concern. You have a lot of decisions to continue making before your sabbatical, don’t you! Lots of details. Wonderful! ox

  13. Enjoy your holiday. Will you be with your son for Thanksgiving? I was like you in that I always went to the library once a week and came home with a bunch of new books. Even though you had to be quiet, I always enjoyed my time at the library and the librarians were always so lovely and helpful xx

    1. We had a lovely time away, Charlie, thank you. Our son and daughter-in-law won’t be able to come down for Thanksgiving, so we made the most of our time together. They will undoubtedly spend much more time with us over Christmas, and we know how quickly that’s approaching. 🙂

    1. Oh how wonderful for the new owners to have those books, Karen! What a great gift to leave behind. When we bought our house many, many years ago, there was a small library with some real treasures left behind for us, and I so often think of how special that was. At the time, especially, we had no money for extras like quality books, and to this day I treasure them. I can imagine it was hard to leave yours behind, but I do smile imagining how they will be appreciated. ox

  14. I’ve not been to a library in years but I used to set up camp there most Saturdays when I was a boy. It’s foolish really. Better to read a book and return it so that others can do the same. When I think of all the books I’ve “lost” over the years. Such a waste.

    1. So nice to hear from you, John. I sometimes feel a little guilty for bringing so many books home at one time because while I have them I’m preventing another “reader” from having that same opportunity. Of course, for the most part, I’m just overly optimistic about my time management! 🙂

      1. It’s been quite a year but I’m back now, hopefully for some time. After writing that last comment, I did some investigating and learned that I was no longer subscribed to your blog. I’ve noticed that I’ve “dropped”, innocently, a number of blogs while I was away. I’ve resubscribed to your blog just as I have the others when I discover the problem, With WP, it’s always something. 🙂

  15. Cheers to bookworms! I hope you enjoyed all the books you checked out. I didn’t even know one could have so many library cards…good thing they send reminders online,non? How do you keep up with all you do in life? Enjoy!

    1. So funny about the library cards! Los Angeles and Pasadena use one card for all the libraries in their system, and I primarily use them. But all the little cities, including the one where I work, have one library and so at times I use them if I’m in a hurry. I do love to read, probably more than any other one pastime, but I honestly don’t read nearly what I once did or would like to! I think retirement is getting much closer, and look out for my reading list then! LOL! I hope you and your family are well, Cristina, and happy Thanksgiving week! ox

    1. I think after this past week I’ve decided not to worry about my piles of books. If I’m taking books out the front door but more are creeping in from the back door, I might as well just give in and enjoy!

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