Search This Blog

Friday, March 19, 2021

We Never Have “Too Many Books”

Artist reading Hemingway's A MOVEABLE FEAST


Some people (I’ve heard them say these words) have a concept they call “too many books.” In my birth family, and in the household the Artist and I share, that concept has never been recognized, even here in our rented winter cabin that is basically one large single room. Yes, we sometimes run out of shelf space. And we don’t always want to keep every book we read forever. In the latter case, we pass books along to friends and family (I just shipped off a box this morning), donate (or re-donate) to thrift shops, or take to bookstores for trade credit, if we can get to such a place easily. (In the past year of COVID, getting to those Tucson bookstores has not been easy.) But there are many books we want to hold onto. “I need another bookcase,” the Artist says to me. Oh, how quickly they fill up!

The dog and I share a library and R&R corner, where my Western, Spanish, and French books are in one case, miscellaneous books in another, nature field guides now moved to the desk.

My books

My books

My books


The Artist also has two bookcases, but, as you see, books are also piling up on the tops.

His, his, his, his

Then there is the little table between our respective reading chairs: each with a different book, we often interrupt the other’s reading to share aloud something from our own.

Neutral territory

And my shelf of cookbooks, of course. Can’t forget those.


And the books on my bedside table, some for reading aloud and some for reading myself to sleep. Will I ever get around to those other Jack Kerouac novels? There are a few waiting for me here:

Bedtime reading

We always have between two and half a dozen books in the car with us, also, and I’m not showing you the big, heavy box of books in the closet or the stacks of books on top of that box (enough to fill another carton). I make no excuses. We are not wealthy people, but we have what feels to us like a very rich life, and books are a big part of our satisfaction.


alexiswittman said...

I loved this slice of life with your books. Your ‘neutral territory’ shows literary peace is possible. I have similar piles, and garaged boxes of books too. Such is life as a reader.

P. J. Grath said...

Alexis, we do more sharing than the "his" and "hers" bookcases might suggest. There are books we read aloud to one another, for one thing, and then, some books have been known to migrate from one side to the other. But doesn't it make you feel RICH, having such bounty at hand? It does me!

Angie said...

I am a book lover, through and through. Have been since I learned to read as a child, and it is my first choice of what I will do with free time. And bedtime. And waiting time....and and and :D I love the feel of them in my hands and the smell of books. I am really really rich if you look at just how many books I feel like I need in my house and life. :D This post totally resonates with me.

P. J. Grath said...

I knew I wasn't alone in this, Angie. An e-mail came to me this morning in reply to my post titled "Books in the Car." That writer (and she is a published author) wrote, "... loved the last post about books in the car. I am never without something in the car, usually several, and a notebook, and love the process of reading/writing in the car while "on the road." Maybe it should be a series? Thanks for that and for all the fine reviewing you do." Which reminds me, I need to catch up on some of that book reviewing....