“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Home Decorating

Recently we went to a social get-together at a friend's house, kids and adults both enjoying themselves. It was a rather nice house in a good neighborhood, and it took me a little bit to figure out why it just didn't feel "right" to me.

There weren't any books.

No bookshelves, no partially read novels lying on an end table, not even a side room which had the family library. With the exception of a handful of school books it was otherwise a literary desert.

Now, please don't take this as a criticism of the people or place - it's nothing of the sort. It just reflects what I've grown used to and comfortable with in my own life.

Ever since I was young I was a reader. My mother kept books around the house, family friends had large libraries, trips to the bookstore and the library were frequent and quite simply it became the norm. Even when I was in the military I remember the majority of my personal possessions being books when I would move from one duty station to another.

I suppose it's only natural that one of the qualities which made my wife special is that she reads as well. Every room in our own house has at least one bookshelf, and when we go through those periodic purges of excess items in the home the books are always the hardest to sort through. Again, it's no surprise our children have taken the love of the written word into their own hearts as well.

Which explains why a house without books just doesn't feel "right" to me - because it's just an empty structure up until then. Sort of like being in one of those model or demo homes with all the furniture and accoutrements designed to show it off, but lacking that spark of life inside. The same as I have trouble relating to people don't read books at all, because there's just that little bit of something not in common with them.

I'd rather have a place cluttered with books and comfortable than the cleanest mansion in the world without a page in sight.


Peter said...

Oh, yes. My sisters and I grew up in a house with over 3,000 books, and we were reading before we went to school. Our parents encouraged us, when we wanted to know something, to first try to find reference material about it, and come to them if we needed help after that. I'll always be grateful to them for inculcating a love of reading in me, and I'm sure it's helped me to become a writer as well.

stepinit said...

Could be that the home ouner has gone digital and has a reader with a bunch of books in the memory.

Gaffer said...

The last time we moved we had to pay the freight for over 12,000 pounds of books. Since then we have added a lot to our collection and I'm not looking forward to our next move.
Life without books is no life at all!

pediem said...

I have an entire room in my house that is wall-to-wall bookshelves. Plus other bookshelves in several other rooms, built-in bookshelves in a few nooks here and there, and I just added 2 more bookshelves in my office.

To my niece and nephews, I am the auntie who gives them books for all giving occasions (or if not books, gift cards to bookstores so they can pick their own books).

Gothelittle Rose said...

I share a 1600sqft house with a husband, three kids, a cat, and over 800 books. We actually use the 'den' downstairs as much as a library as a den, and the kids have bookshelves in their rooms besides! Plus there are books in the living room, books on my nightstand, books on my computer desk...

Old NFO said...

Agreed! I HATE getting rid of a book (but at least I donate them to Walter Reed). Before I started writing I was reading 3-4 books a week, now I'm down to about 1 a week.

Wandering Soul said...

When I finally buy a house, I am going to turn one of the bedrooms into a library with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and comfy reading chairs. I love books!! :)