I live in a house of books.
My husband is a bibliophile. So am I. The cumulative effect is catastrophic. He had HIS books, I had MY books, and when we got married and combined those we already had critical mass – and then we just didn’t see the need to stop buying books so now there are OUR books and it’s out of hand.
We both have collections. Hubby has shelves full of John MacDonald’s Travis McGee books, Thomas Perry’s Jane Whitefield series, and hundreds of other mysteries. I got addicted to the Longmire books, so now those are double-shelved on the McGee shelf (because yanno, more mysteries).
We have other shelves devoted entirely to Ursula Le Guin, Judith Tarr, Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, C J Cherryh, Judith Tarr, Marie Brennan, Glenda Larke, Spider Robinson, Matt Ruff, Guy Gavriel Kay. And then there’s the SF classics shelf, built into the stairwell wall in the corridor, which holds Asimov, Bradbury, Bova, Clarke, Pohl, Stapledon, Wolfe, Moorcock, Lovecraft… and other odds and ends like a handful of Tanith Lee, a couple of Ellen Kushners, one or four Vonda
And then there’s the non-SF loot. Les Miserables. The Forsyte Saga. Kristin Lavransdottir. A shelf-full of Daphne du Maurier and Louis de Bernieres. Poetry – from my grandfather to Yeats and Keats and Oscar Wilde, Jovan Ducic and Desanka Maksimovic. Kazantzakis. Ivo Andric. Rebecca West. Shakespeare.
Books about cats and lions and wolves, whales and owls, big trees and bonsai, UFOs and yeti, mysticism and mesmerism. Books about medieval art. History books and books of names and books about poisons and other reference material. Books about Scotland and Japan and France and South Africa and China. Books about castles, books about dreams, books about dragons, books about women, books about the stars, books about skydiving, books about books.
We live in a house built of books, with books, from books. There isn’t a convenient vertical surface where there either already is a bookshelf or one was at least contemplated. There isn’t a horizontal surface where at least one book isn’t resting at any given time (and more frequently a teetering pile). And then, of course, we have the invisible ones — e-books and audio books.
The motto of this house appears to be: “Give me books or give me death”. And so we close our front door against the world which is so often on fire, and we make ourselves a cup of coffee, and we sigh, and we sink into the loving embrace of all the words that hold us.
Welcome to my world.
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