Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Pagan Bookshelves

Steve at Color Sweet Tooth photographed his bookshelves for a recent post and invited others to do the same. DCup has since followed suit and I, a bit late as usual, have a sampling of my shelves.

When I go to someone's home for the first time and the situation calls for it, I love to browse through their bookshelves, don't you? So here are mine for your perusal. And as Steve stated in his bookshelves post: I challenge readers to show your bookshelves.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Art Bookshelf
Please meet Cesar le Lizard but please don't ask me to translate!

Random Bookshelf
some rock music biographies, a cookbook that I haven's looked at twice and some novels
Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi is one of the best books I've read in the last ten years

Mostly novels and some Yeats
I Spy Books shoved on top
I love this series for children and I don't like to leave my personal copies in the classroom
I'm a Yeats fan...

He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeates

from the collection Crossways (1889)
The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats

A stack of mostly novels, a couple of which I've yet to read, and behind it, some parenting books I've kept in anticipation of grand kids one day.

Poetry and novels
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb and The Diaries of Jane Somers by Doris Lesing are two other favorite novels.

The little dish with ashes is where I burn incense and the little you can see of the cloth doll in the corner is Amelia Earhart - a flea market find of many years ago and one of those things I just can't get rid of.

There at least four more bookcases in my house that are not represented here. While I've diligently gotten rid of a lot of excess junk (mine and that of other family members), I admit to having a hard time getting rid of books. A couple of years ago, after filling four boxes full of books and taking them to a used book store, I felt as if I was dropping off a litter of kittens. But it had to be done.

I rarely buy new books anymore unless it's something I know I will refer to often. I find the cost of books exorbitant, so I use the library and buy used books. I am much more at home in a good used book store or a locally owned one than in a Borders or Barnes & Noble. We're lucky in the Happy Valley and the north in Brattleboro, Vermont to have so many independent book stores to choose from; some with unique personalities such as Beyond Words, which boasts a great collection of books on mysticism, religion and spirituality and Food for Thought, which is a workers collective bookstore, carries an incredible selection of books on political themes and issues; including books by local authors with limited exposure and books printed by small, independent book makers.

I admit that I don't read nearly as much as I once did. In this phase of my life, it appears I need long stretches of uninterrupted reading time in order to stay focused. The vacation in Nova Scotia proved to be just what I needed to rapidly devour several books; five, in fact. More on that in another post, I hope.


  1. i currently have 3 bookshelves but i have books scattered all over the house- so it's probably closer to 4 :) i know what you mean about books. any book i have gotten rid of was like losing a friend and doncha know i need it when i don't have it anymore :) i love to read and this year has found me not having much time but cold weather is usually the time i can read. mostly political these days but i like a good mystery or a classic novel. i have many craft books because i had planned on starting my own business- perhaps i still will one of these days when i find the time :)

  2. got some of mine up at my place!

  3. This was delightful. You have a varied set of books - this does not surprise me at all. And wow! five books on your trip? That's great! I really think I need to unplug for a bit and just read. Can I do it?

  4. Yeah, DC, you can. Just do it.

    PS, I've always been amazed by your voracious devouring of books, and am even more so now that I seem to have lost any vestige of ability I once had to do the same.

    And thanks for the Billy the Butler quotation; he's breath-taking, non?

  5. I like to look at people's bookshelves when I go to their houses. It gives you a little window into their heads and also often provides ideas for things to read. This is the next best thing.

  6. Great idea. When I get a bookshelf I will snap shots and post it. My books are everywhere. In every room. I should seriously think about getting a shelf or two.

    Your books are certainly telling, my friend. Yeats. Cool. Jane Somers. Nice. Dylan. Absolutely. Impressionism. Sweet! O’Conner. O, yes… Joni! Dickens! How to Talk Dirty! (Oh my…)

    I could definitely hang out at your house and read…If you’d let me in, that is.

  7. I didn't know you lived in Vermont, that is one cool state!!!

    I like your book and shelves of course : )

  8. Liberality: I actually don't live in Vermont. I live in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and what is called The Tri-State area because we're so close to the borders of Southern VT and N.H. I'm about 20 miles from the the Vermont border.

    In many ways VT. is a cool state - very liberal. But I taught in a school district there and the education system totally sucks. Nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there.

  9. Poetryman: you are welcome to read at my house anytime, especially if you were to give us a reading of your poetry! :-)


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