Thoughts from a Sentimental Book Slut

On average, I probably read a book a week. And can I tell you what I’ve read recently? Nope. Except for our Natalia’s CHASING THE SUN and Lori’s THE BLACK HOUR. (Both fabulous! And I do recommend them.)

In other words, I have a hard time recommending books. I have the books that are my personal classics, but I don’t recommend them much, for whatever reason.

So, I’m sitting here, mildly sloshed because I just got home from wine tasting. I’m staring at my bookshelves. I have lots of bookshelves in my condo. Four in my living room. Two in my bedroom. One in a closet. And let’s not forget the floor next to my nightstand and alongside the far side of my bed (no foot traffic over there).

Optimized-book3What occurs to me is that every time I purge my books, which I do, there are some I know I’ll always keep for sentimental reasons.

Like Miriam Rothchild’s Butterfly Cooing Like a Dove. A beautiful book full of literature, art, and animals. As the flap copy says, a “compilation of spontaneous pleasures,” a “rambling anthology.” It reminds me of my days working at Doubleday Books, where Jackie O, senior editor, strolled the hallways. Rothchild (one of THOSE Rothchilds) was Jackie O’s author. Jackie O lent her high style and great taste to helping create this wondrous book.

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Or this little book sitting dusty on a shelf in an antique store. Small town Oregon — maybe the owner didn’t know who Nathaniel Hawthorne was? For fifteen bucks, I bought Footprints on the Seashore, printed in 1893 with original etchings through out.

 

 

 

 

 

Optimized-book1Margaret Atwood is one of my all-time favorite authors. I’m never giving up his early book of poetry.

 

 

 

 

 

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Or this slim book of poetry written by Julia Vinograd, the ever-present “bubble lady” around the Berkeley campus while I was a student. She was a street person who blew bubbles everywhere she went. Now that brings back memories.

Looking around my place, I’ve essentially kept a scrapbook of my adult life through the books I’ve chosen to keep.

What’s in your bookish scrapbook?

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Lisa Alber is the author of KILMOON, A COUNTY CLARE MYSTERY (March 2014). Ever distractible, you may find her staring out windows, dog walking, fooling around online, or drinking red wine with her friends. Ireland, books, animals, photography, and blogging at Lisa Alber's Words at Play round out her distractions. Visit her at www.lisaalber.com.

This article has 13 Comments

  1. I love this. I’ve always felt that books tell two stories: the one that’s in the book itself, and the time in our lives that we’ll always remember reading them (they’re like songs to me, memory triggers). So I can definitely understand how books are a scrapbook of our lives.

    1. Last night, I started to panic, I mean panic, when I couldn’t find the Julia Vinograd book. Muttering to myself, I couldn’t have thrown that out. Why would I throw that out?

      🙂 Whew!

  2. Lisa,

    I remember the bubble lady when I was at Berkeley. I wonder if we were at Berkeley at the same time. That seems like another lifetime ago. Lots of wonderful book recommendations, which I put on my TBR list.

    Your mention of the Miriam Rothschild book reminded me of vintage books, which I loved. I cannot recall the authors’ names. I think one was about flowers by Cicely ? with beautiful illustrations. Another was Kate Greenaway (?) children’s books. Yes, there are some wonderful children’s books. Sometimes I am just in a mood for children’s books instead of adult novels.

    A friend, who was my math tutor, gave me The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, and I loved it. Sometimes I receive books as gifts and they are my introduction to new authors.

    There are books that I keep for sentimental reasons. Sometimes they are books, which were signed by the authors. I kept several Golden Books, which some of my teachers gave to us when we were kids as end of the school year gifts.

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