Thursday, January 7, 2010

Book Lover at Heart

It's been my experience readers fall into two categories. Those who reread and those who don't.

The non-rereaders aren't fully committed to the act of reading; they may have been forced to read as children, and never developed the love of the story. Others simply have better things to do and see nothing wrong with reading a chapter here and there.

Rereaders, on the other hand, find themselves emotionally involved with their fictional friends, and keep returning to lose themselves in the HEA or alternate universe and escape reality for a while.

I'm a rereader. And being one comes with a strange side effect: If I let you borrow one of my books, I expect it back. But if I borrow one of yours, I'll purchase it for myself asap. Or in the case of my parents, once the book is in my hands, they aren't likely to see it on their shelves ever again.

Case in Point: Dad's copies of James Michenor's Hawaii and Centennial. I 'borrowed' those books twenty years ago. Centennial I actually did give back, only to borrow it three more times. Dad finally said I could keep it:)

When I had my car accident in 2000, another friend brought over a box of books. Within days, I was hooked on James Patterson and a few Dean Koontz titles. Before I returned the box, I wrote down every single title of the books I'd particularly enjoyed, and as soon as I could, went out and purchased them.

I mentioned this on Anny's blog yesterday; my dream room is the Disney's Beauty and the Beast library. I could happily spend days or weeks in that room, especially if Mrs. Potts and Chip provided me with plenty of food and iced tea, lol:)

I had 9 bookcases in my first house, all double-stacked with hardbacks and paperbacks. Now, I'm reduced to keeping them all in boxes, and in storage. We moved to our current home in the fall of '06 and I believe in the next eighteen months, read my way through a dozen or so boxes left by my MIL and salvaged from my grandmother's attic.

I grew up watching my parents read; I had three sets of grandparents who were also willing to read to my sister and I. My two older children love to read, although a strict accellerated reading program and the fact I ended up working full time for three months nearly destroyed K's love of reading. And W loves to be read to; however, with this lingering sinus infection, I can't read out loud for too long and prefer the shortest books possible. So that 'job' often falls to his siblings.

So with all of my books, which ones had the privelege of being in my bedroom? The top shelf was my entire Dana Fuller Ross's Wagons West series. I am only missing the final book in the saga. The middle shelf held Michenor, John Jakes, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Michael Palmer, and a few Robin Cook. Nora Roberts and Lavyrle Spencer had the honor of being in the living room. Danielle Steele took up one complete shelf, front and back, in my office. Jude Devereaux had the shelf below her.

I started to inventory my books, but once I reached the 750 count, with still three bookshelves to go, I accidently left the disc in the computer overnight and experienced one of my many file crashes. I still have the loose-leaf pages somwhere, but it's not complete. Which means starting over if I am ever lucky enough to be able to display them again.

So what about you? Do you reread books until they are tattered, or does your collection look pristine? My copy of Little Women is missing both the front and back cover. North And South is held together with duct tape on the spine. Cherry Ames: Student Nurse is missing the first four pages of chapter one AND the front cover. And more recently, my dictionary, the one I received in 1984 as a college present, is in danger of losing some pages. But never fear; I know there's duct tape in this house!

Today has been declared a SNOW DAY...we're expecting five inches by noon, so the kids are sleeping late. If I'm not around this afternoon, blame the kids for kicking me off the computer. I'll be watching L&O downstairs:)


Regina Carlysle said...

I've pretty much stopped loaning books. After discussions with friends a long time ago, I'd loaned out copies of two of my favorites For the Roses and Saving Grace both by Julie Garwood. For the Roses was hardback. Ended up re-buying it twice. Same with Saving Grace. Re-bought in hardback. It was so frustrating to lose nice books that way so I no longer loan books to anyone but my daughter. I have well-thumbed paperbacks that are now yellow. I would love to re-buy them and might do that but I doubt I would through away the yellowed copies. I just wouldn't be able to do that.

Molly Daniels said...

I've stopped loaning any books to my stepdaughter. I never get them back, and find out later they were 'lost' or 'accidentally left behind' during her various moves. Which almost made me physically ill; she had a good chunk of my Danielle Steele library. And I think these were in her storage unit which she couldn't pay for, so now someone else has it.