Wednesday, April 09, 2014

H is for Hoarding . . . Books

When did I begin
holding each book close,
books I shall never read again?
How many are enough? 
These books that document 
my life into verse
and chapters?

I bring the quiet of a library
into my house,
arrange my chair just so,
the proper reading light,
sometimes a snack,
and fall into someone else's reality.
Never mind,
it's not my story, 
I'll slide sideways
into someone else's beginning
until the end.

I'm a bookworm, a bibliophile. I love books for what they contain, and I love simply the act of reading. Some of my earliest memories are of reading, sitting in a small children's chair and turning the pages of my own book. When I move to a new town, I don't settle in until I hold a library card, entry to my second home. On a first date with my husband, he took me to a small library in San Francisco to show me where Richard Brautigan wrote his stories. We used to go to used book stores everywhere; now, we just have too many books. What shall I do with the books I collected for teaching? Many are gone now, but boxes remain. As do the memories.

Allen's passion is travel. Oh, the libraries we have visited and the books we have seen -- original fan-fold codices in Mexico, illuminated manuscripts in England, even a tiny small tablet several thousand years old, with the first example of wedge-shaped writing, a cuneiform, brought out from a back room by a librarian to show us because we loved books.

My favorites, all the libraries in Scotland, the British Library -- so immense; and then in Buenos Aires, a theater has been converted to a grand bookstore -- El Ateneo Grand. After you have exhausted yourself, you can sit at a small table, look at the books you've collected, sip strong coffee, and listen to soft tango music.

El Ateneo Grand (

See more pictures of El Ateneo HERE.


  1. Anonymous9:07 AM

    That must have been so much fun -- visiting all those libraries and book stores! I don't think you can ever have too many books. :)

    1. I agree. Even as I let go of some of my books and find it a little easier NOT to read a book, we still have too many books. Thank goodness for libraries!

  2. What a wonderful first date! No wonder you married him. :-)

    1. Thank you, Debi. Yes, the poor guy never had a chance. Thank goodness he likes my cooking too.

  3. This all sounds heavenly! I too love books, and look forward to settling down for a nice read in the evenings. Your poem captures this feeling well.

    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Hope you have many good reads ahead.

  4. How exciting to have visited all of those libraries. I used to go to bookstores a lot, but all the ones nearest me have closed down. It's really said. I have hundreds of books here at home that I still need to read.

    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Lee. Even though we live in a fairly large town, we find fewer and fewer independent book stores. May you enjoy those hundreds of books to read!