My dad’s mom, my Grandma Betty, was an avid reader. When she passed away I inherited a wonderful collection of old books that included some first edition Hemingway’s and a first edition of Gone With the Wind. I too am an avid reader and while I didn’t own any collectable editions I had stacks of books in the bedroom and boxes of them in the closet.
Inheriting those old books was the perfect excuse to build some bookcases in our study. An estimate from a professional was enough for us to realize that they had to be a do-it-yourself project. I am very pleased with how they turned out, though my wife is responsible for the design, most of the installation, and all of the trim work and joinery. She considers me unskilled labor. When we make measurements I always hold the “dumb” end of the tape measure.
The bookcases that looked too big a decade ago are now overflowing. A good friend once told me that she thought I would spend my last dollar on a book, and I think she is right. I enjoy cruising the stacks at used bookstores and I keep the postman busy with deliveries from Amazon.
My collection is quite eclectic. I discovered Archibald Rutledge, the first Poet Laureate of South Carolina, when he was mentioned in an article about Robert Ruark. A good friend gave me a copy of Ruark’s The Old Man and the Boy and I have since given copies of this book to others and hope they love it as much as I do. There are books about elk hunting in Montana and pier fishing in the southeast. There is a book on the Colorado Trail and Audubon’s Birds of America. Fiction by CJ Box, Stuart Kaminsky, Joseph Wambaugh, Michael Connelly, John D. MacDonald, Louis L’Amour and many others. I read Indian Creek Chronicles: A Winter in the Wilderness by Pete Fromm a few years ago and consider it among my favorites. There are too many to mention them all, so many that I should check and see if the floor joists in the study need to be reinforced.
Books and reading are an important part of my life. So is writing. I’ve heard that the best thing about being a writer is that it makes you a better reader, and I’d agree with that statement.
What a great deal.
I wrote a guest blog post at The Introverted Reader site:
Jen was kind enough to feature Soundkeeper on her blog, and I am giving away two copies of my book through her blog. I like the entry I wrote; it says a lot about why I write.