I confess that I’ve been avoiding becoming a real member of the Nerdy Book Club since Colby, Donalyn and Cindy started it at the end of 2011. I have read nearly every post and commented on many, but thought I just didn’t have time to blog with another group. However, they’ve found me anyway, and Colby asked me to write this post because he noticed I was commenting, therefore enjoying every word written by everyone else, about books. It is a wonderful blog!
I know that I have always been a member. I cannot remember ever not reading. I read early, with and without parents and grandparents, and have found books to be important to me all my life. I became a teacher whose first love was to teach first grade because I wanted to teach kids to read. And I have continued teaching, older students lately, so I can bring books into their lives. I buy books, borrow books, checkout books, and give books willingly to anyone who wants to read them. There are lots of ways to house books and mostly I use bookshelves, but if you look at my photos, you’ll see cabinets as well as shelves—small ones and tall ones. Nearly every room houses some kind of book holder with books stacked in different ways, to save room and to organize certain collections.
I also have quite a large collection in my office at the school where I work. My current job there is the school’s literacy coach, so I should own quite a few books in order to do my job well, right?
This requires shelves!
There are times when I am a little embarrassed that I say I need another bookshelf. I can’t imagine not having books, but sometimes people comment on how many books I own and I wonder if they judging me, as in “don’t you ever just go to the library?” or “Wow, how can you possibly have read or need all these books?” And then I remember the quote by Anna Quindlen when she wrote: I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves, and I am comforted that I am not alone.
I’ve been collecting books all my life. I am a teacher, which adds middle grade and YA books to the shelves. I am interested in diverse topics, and so is my husband-hence the collection! I own professional books about teaching, a favorite collection written by naturalists, picture books for my teaching and for my grandchildren. My husband also has collected Boy Scout outdoor books for a long time.
This requires shelves!
The shelves hold classics and current fiction best sellers, poetry anthologies and books about writing. These sit beside mysteries by Elizabeth George and Dorothy Sayers. My husband’s interests fill the shelves with comics and history of comics, books about the Civil War, Native Americans and other non-fiction topics, also books by John Le Carre and all the Master and Commander series by Patrick O’Brien.
I also have kept a collection of my mother’s when she belonged to some kind of classics book club, a set of twelve blue volumes that include such classics as du Maurier’s Rebecca and Twain’s Tom Sawyer. We have an old set of The Book of Knowledge and a favorite dictionary or two (or three), although I do use Dictionary.com.
Perhaps someday these stacks will metamorphose into a thin little screen called an iPad or a Kindle, but for now, they will serve as my personal kind of decorating: multi-colored, eclectic and emotionally satisfying.
One final thought; I’m happy to loan and give books to anyone who desires to borrow or have. I’m generous with this; it gives me room to purchase more books and shelves!
Linda Baie is a long time teacher of middle school students at an independent school for the gifted in Denver, Colorado. She has recently moved from the classroom and moved into the part-time position of literacy coach for the 8-14 year age group. She has a son and son-in-law, a daughter and daughter-in-law, one grandson and two granddaughters. Her husband is retired. If there is any passion it is bringing the joy of reading, writing and being outdoors to her students, and now to those teachers under her care. She blogs at TeacherDance.