Saturday, July 7, 2007

On Tour

I just finished a book tour. No, not that kind. My own, personal tour of all the books in my house. I wandered from room to room, considering them as they sprawled on the floor of my office, stood neatly between bookends on my desk, and called to me from my To-Be-Read windowsill.

I touched the spines of the dozens of books that cover my fireplace mantle, artfully arranged so that the vertical and horizontal groupings alternate and so that there aren't too many beige books in any one pile.

There are books all over the kitchen, most of them cookbooks, but some of them fiction. (Although, I admit, I've been known to treat recipes like fiction.)

There are books in the bathroom with the Lysol and the plunger. There are boxes and boxes of books in the garage. I tenderly bump them with the front end of my car as I pull in.

There are books in various cloth bags, which means I've taken them out of the house to brag about them, and then failed to put them back in their rightful place.

There are books that I will never read. There are books that I've read three times. There are books that beloved friends gave me. That I found by chance. That I bought for a quarter thirty years ago. That I will give to my children's children one day.

So many books, each with a story inside---surrounded by a larger story, the one about how and where and why I did or did not read it.

I thought I was conducting this book tour because I was looking for one particular book. I thought I was seeking a book to highlight here, to lovingly hold up as my first official book "recommendation."

But I was really remembering who I was and where I'd been. As a reader, I have a map of my life---right here, on my shelves.


  1. Nice. I've been doing something similar as I get ready to pack my books for the impending move. It's funny, isn't it? Of all my possessions, I think I have the most emotionally invested in my books, and rely on them to contain my story.

  2. Nice to meet you, Sara! I'm a bookseller and blogger, and I just so happen to be reading Rapunzel today. May I quote King of Griefs for Poetry Friday this week?

  3. Little Willow: you may. I'd be honored. And so very lovely to meet you, too!

  4. I've never thought about the books that I have in each room - hmmm. That is enlightening! Maybe if I combine them, I could convince my hubby that we need another shelf!

  5. I can't imagine living in a house that doesn't have books in every room! (or cats, but that's another story). I never know when I might want ot pick something up and read it again.

    I try to keep my books corraled on shelves, but they seem to have a habit of wandering around on their own and plopping themselves down in unlikely places--just like the cats.

  6. So glad you're jumping into the kidlitosphere. :)

  7. Love your book tour. I couldn't possibly do one now, since a lot of our books are so disorganized, even some piled in heaps on the floor. I have such a difficult time getting rid of them. I think, Do I need these theatre texts from way back when I thought my life was heading in that direction? Ah well, maybe one day I'll be strong and weed.


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