Thursday, November 03, 2011


There’s been too much Etc. and not enough Books on this blog.  Since I don’t want to change the name to Etc.Books (doesn’t sound right) today’s post is devoted to books – their origins, history, etc., right back to the earliest known books - the clay tablets of Mesopotamia and the papyrus rolls of Egypt both dating from the early 3rd millennium BC.  KIDDING!  I would not subject you to such a scholarly treatise.

First up – a few pictures.  While taking these, I realized every room in this house (with the exception of one bathroom and the laundry and furnace rooms) contains books.  You decorate a home to make it feel comfortable, inviting and to make yourself feel at home, right?  Well, being surrounded by books does all those things for me.  Makes me happy.  To quote Heinrich Mann, “A house without books is like a room without windows.”

study/library/piano room

 antique set of Shakespeare on mantle

a bit messy but i like it

Next - Books Recently Read & Very Much Enjoyed


The Kennedy Brothers - Richard D. Mahoney
Better - Dr. Atul Gawande
Complications - Dr. Atul Gawande       
The Checklist Manifesto - Dr. Atul Gawande
Every Patient Tells a Story - Lisa Sanders, M.D.
(Dr. Sanders is the technical advisor to the TV show House, M.D. – which I don’t watch but perhaps you do.)


A Visit From the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
The Marriage Plot - Jeffrey Eugenides
The Accidental - Ali Smith
Recipes for a Perfect Marriage - Morag Prunty
A bit late for me to be reading this!!   ;)
So Much For That - Lionel Shriver
(I love all Lionel Shriver’s books.)
Behind the Scenes at the Museum - Kate Atkinson
A Short History of Women - Kate Walbert
The Believers - Zoë Heller

There are more but I’ve given them away and can’t remember all the titles.  One day soon I will forget the books themselves and will be content reading the same book over and over and over…  What a savings!  Because, yes, this is an addiction.  I justify my addiction by never paying full price for a book, frequenting a used book store, being the grateful recipient of gift certificates and sharing.  The fact I don’t spend money on make-up (sensitive skin) and am not a slave to fashion saves me untold millions – which I then spend on books.  Austin Phelps had a similar outlook - "Wear the old coat and buy the new book.”

I read two to three books a week.  And, no, I do not spend my entire day reading.  I speed-read – taught myself to do this at the age of ten with an old-fashioned, no-tech speed-reader learning device of my father’s.  I also read books of his I probably shouldn’t have but was not left scarred for life.  (I don’t think…)

My love of books began at an early age – and it is a love affair that has lasted my entire life.  Cannot imagine it ever ending.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”  ~ Stephen King

Yes, they most certainly are.

P.S. I’m leaving for another get-a-way to this place. Catch up with you all upon my return.  Have a lovely weekend.


Gorilla Bananas said...

Which book would you use to prop up a wonky table leg?

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Oooo. Thank you! I love peaking at OPBs (Other People's Bookshelves).


Trish said...

Oohh great bookshelves! Thanks for the peek :) I also resist paying full price for books unless, of course, someone gives me a Chapters gift certificate - then, yes. Otherwise, used book stores and the library keep me in my bookish addiction just fine. Have fun on your trip!

Anonymous said...

I'm a speed reader too, though blogging has cut my reading time down from three books a week to two. Love Atul Gawande's books.

oreneta said...

I haven't read ANY of those good to know there are so many more wonderful books out there!

Cid said...

So great to see your books. I have been mulling over a post on why we keep and display books. My 13 year old loves his Kobo and has no desire to display the books he has read on the shelves we put up for that purpose in his room. I have five boxes of books in the upstairs hall with no where to go and the likelihood of shelves being built are slim but I can't part with them. So why do I keep them when I have been known to read a book per day? Lately I have read a couple of non fiction that I loved.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and Boomerang by Michael Lewis. And my all-time favourite designer room was a bathroom by Brian Gluckstein with wall to wall bookshelves surrounding the tub.

Barrie said...

Books are also my addiction. And, until reading your post, I hadn't paid much attention to the fact that there are books in almost every room of our house. Often stacked in quite untidy piles!

Anonymous said...

Is that your place? It looks so nice and so peaceful! I love it.

I have books everywheer too, except I tend to borrow them from the library. I actually try to not buy so many because room is always a problem and books take a lot of space. But I filled a few bookshelves already...

Anonymous said...

Nice place. :D

Gary said...

Nice post and a good list of books to add to the bedside stack... said...

Have a wonderful getaway, Beth. I imagine you'll get much reading done in those golden fields.
Thanks for the mini-tour and book recommendations.

Jaya J said...

how would you rate The Accidental ?
have a good break.

Beth said...

Jaya J:
I would rate it 8/10. Deceptively simple to read but leaves you thinking...

Sherry Smyth said...

Hope you enjoyed the getaway! I could not survive without books. I read 2-3 a week as you know and wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't browse for books, purchase books, spend at least one day per week in the library. You of course have your books on shelves. Mine are on my bedroom floor, in stacks and I do mean stacks...but I rather like the effect...since the tables are already full!!

Bee said...

Did you like the Jennifer Egan? I'm so out-of-date with grown-up people fiction, having read nothing but children's fiction for months now.

I can beat you on book piles, but that's probably because I am NOT generous about giving mine away.

laughingwolf said...

if i recall, king is on Q [cbc radio-1 99.1, trawna], tomorrow morning after 10 am news... some time... at least before it goes off at 11:30 am]