A Library of Friends

When my husband and I moved into our house two years ago, we knew had a lot of books to box up. But after packing everything in our apartment up for weeks on end, we realized that we had at least 30 boxes full of books!

On moving day, our movers dutifully carried the couch, television, tables, chairs, and other furniture to the moving van, and then readied themselves for the mound of boxes. Wrinkling his nose when we told him that the large stack in the dining room contained our library, one of the movers asked us, “what do you do with so many books?”

“We read them, of course,” we replied.

He shook his head, then muttered something about having to carry all of those books down three flights of stairs.

Book artBut what else would you do with books than to read them? I’ll admit, my husband and I are somewhat book hoarders. If there’s a sale at a bookstore, you can bet we’re there. When we moved to the house, we also acquired four brand new, seven-foot tall bookshelves, to contain our growing library. We currently have 11 full bookshelves, two short shelves, and a cube unit. They aren’t all full, but there’s room to grow.

Guests often ask us if we’d read all of our books. I don’t know about my husband’s collection, but I’ve probably read about 60 percent of mine. But there’s always room for more!

Unless you’re a book lover, you don’t really understand the lure of library full of books. When I see my shelves full of books, it’s like walking into a room full of friends. Some of them are dear to my heart, because I’ve read them so often, such as my original copy of Anne of Green Gables, while others are casual acquaintances that I may glance at but probably only skim if I open their covers again. And as for the books I haven’t read, they are strangers that I can’t wait to get acquainted with!

One thing I DON’T have are books that I didn’t like. I have a rule: if I know I will not read a book again, I won’t keep it (Twilight, anyone?). I usually either donate them to the Goodwill, or trade them in at my local Half Price Books.

I may also be a harsh critic when it comes to books. I have a friend who will finish a book no matter what, but I refuse to continue reading a book I’m not enjoying. My motto is, “There are too many good books out there to waste on reading a bad one.” The comparison there is don’t waste time on people that bring you down.

So, what books do you consider good friends, or perhaps strangers you can’t wait to get acquainted with?

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Stephanie Ludwig is a former reporter turned public relations professional who loves Jesus and writing about mysteries, music, and murder. She is an avid L.M. Montgomery fan, and collects anything having to do with Anne of Green Gables.

7 thoughts on “A Library of Friends”

  1. And I thought I had a lot of books! Of course I’d have a bunch more if I hadn’t donated the ones I won’t read again. ~~~ My best book friends are JANE EYRE and A VOICE IN THE WIND. I could never read them enough.

    1. Every so often I do go through and purge the books that I thought I might read again, and then realize I probably won’t, which helps with spring cleaning! You know Anne of Green Gables is my bosom book friend, and Jane Eyre moved on to that list this year, too. Ann Gabhart’s Rosey Corner trilogy, particularly Small Town Girl, is also one I’ve read twice and will read again!

  2. I usually share ones with family I think they’ll like. I’m sure I have thirty books floating out there somewhere that I’ve already read and shared. But, I am like you. If I don’t like a book, it’s gone. I have two shelves full of books I’ve gotten signed by the author. I haven’t been active this past year in getting them. But those are my favorites if I had to pick. Not because I’ve read the all, but because I have met with and talked to each of the authors, and shared part of the dream of publication with them.

    1. Dawn, I also have a lot of signed books by authors! I admit, there were a few I didn’t like as well (usually an instance where I met the author at the event without knowing anything of their writing), but I still keep those signed books because the author took the time to chat with me about their story, and their dreams.

  3. So I have a few books in my house too. Fancy that. And I’m running out of bookcase. Time to think of some clever way to fit another in the house. 🙂 And I have to admit that I rarely read a book a second time. (did you just faint dead on the floor, Stephanie?) The ones I do read over again tend to be from my childhood — Anne of course and Trixie. But I still keep all the books I have read and loved. Does that make me a hoarder? I just love to see their cheery faces greet me every morning and books are wall art as far as I’m concerned. Oh — and the books on my shelf — I have definitely read all of them. They don’t get shelved unless they’ve been read. And I tend to keep my TBR at a decent number. I guess you could say I’m a divide and conquer reader.

    1. Nope, no fainting here! I actually don’t often reread an entire book, just sections of them, or skim my favorite parts. There are only a handful of books I’ve reread from start to finish (I’m currently rereading The Forgotten Garden because I needed a Kate Morton fix, and she won’t have a new one out for at least a year!). But nearly all of my books are shelved even if I haven’t read them– it’s the organizational freak in me!

  4. I had a ton of books too, but we had a water issue in the basement a couple of years ago so unfortunately many of the books had to go. A sad day. But I still have plenty upstairs in the office. Book collections are so fun. Everywhere I go, if there’s a book on display, I have to stop and pick it up.

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