Buried in Books ...

“It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way about. Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down.”  ― Agatha Christie, The Clocks:
 
 
"It is clear that the books owned the shop rather than the other way round.  Everywhere they had run wild and taken possession of their habitat, breeding and multiplying, and clearly lacking any strong hand to keep them down." ~ Agatha Christie, The Clocks.
 
My library is small compared to some, but when you have to move all your books, it might as well be the Central Lending Library.  The house has been overrun with men this week; men banging, hammering, drilling, painting, plastering and causing general chaos.  All the furniture was moved until D and I were squeezed into a tiny space that was left while they got on with whatever it was they were doing.  Thousands of cups of coffee were made and pints of milk disappeared at an alarming rate.  But best to get it all over in one hit, then we can begin to put everything to rights.  There is not one thing in our house that is in the right place.
 
 

Which brings me to the point of this post.  Books.  We had to clear them all from the shelves whilst the room was painted.  Piles of them towering, threatening to topple if we breathed too heavily when near them.  And as I was moving them all back I couldn't resist opening them one by one, remembering when they had been read, and what had inspired me to keep them.  This made the job a lot longer than it should have been; but seeing them all laid out on the bed whilst I was sorting I came to the realisation that they were my history, that all my likes and interests were there; the things that made me, me.


Books on gardening; writing; poetry, wildflowers; nature, novels; vintage; classics; philosophy etc.    Do I really need to keep so many - the answer is yes.  I draw inspiration from my books, read them over and over - they are part of me - books that have been collected since I was a child.


They hold so many memories - have kept me entertained for hours - have taken me to places I could only dream of - filled my imagination with wondrous things.  Yes, it is a pain when you have to move them, sort them all out and return them to the shelves - it took about five hours, give or take - but the shelves looked so lonely without them and I am glad they are back where they belong.



Elaine




Comments

  1. Always great to be surrounded by books. Warm greetings and best wishes!

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  2. I am pleased for you and your books that you are getting back to order again.

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  3. Your task in moving all of the books must have been difficult and very arduous, but the job also had its rewards by bringing back so many happy memories for you from across the years.

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  4. It's lovely to see them all layed out, I would end up flicking through them to, if I had the room the house would be full of books, there's a thought if I get rid of the kids I could fill their rooms with books.
    Glad you are getting things back to normal.
    Amanda xx

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  5. I have been donating books to Goodwill; ones that no longer interest me. There are some I'd never let go of. That first picture is a treasure. I hope to remember the beauty of those books.

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  6. Ah, books.
    I read this post with great interest and I looked closely at the photos to catch a glimpse of what might be found on your bookshelves. I spotted a couple of familiar authors and titles that intrigued and amused me.
    However I am so pleased I didn't have to move all those books. :-)

    I hope the rest of the damage restoration goes without too many hitches.

    Ms Soup

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  7. My people lived in a total mess of books and magazines. They were piled everywhere; on any available space. It was a nightmare.

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  8. It is mammoth task moving books around the house. We had to do this recently when we bought a new carpet. At least we only had the books in the bookcases to move as the ones on the bookshelves in the study could stay where were.

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  9. It is good that your books have a comfortable bed while you sleep on the floor - I presume ? ;-)

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  10. I've also found that moving lots of books around does always take longer than I thought it would. I was reminded of that when we moved a few months ago. I was completely distracted by individual books and remembering about when in my life I bought them and first read them.
    I can see exact copies in your photos of books I have here (including a couple of the children's books that I still love to keep)

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  11. A most enjoyable post and wonderful pictures.
    As much as I love books and reading I've never been one to keep very many of them. Flighty xx

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  12. I think you can tell a person by the books they keep. I always look at the bookcase in other people's homes. I saw some well loved titles of my own amongst your collection. I think I could happily pass an afternoon with you sitting on the floor dipping into books without a word spoken.

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  13. I have that very same Heidi book. My mum used to buy me a book a month instead of a comic each week! Glad you're getting back to normal.

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  14. Oh I see some familiar friends in amongst your treasured books Elaine as well as new to me ones that I would like to dip into :) I share Susan's sentiment.

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  15. Dear Elaine, in Germany there is a professional saying: "A librarian who reads is lost". Well - I understand that you want to keep your books - I often see them as old friends, read them again (yes!), and the non-so-literary "How-to-Books" I also own might have helped me to save money spent on a psychologist :-)
    And: we once gave away about 6000 (!) books of rare German crime & detective stories, to the Literaturarchiv in Marbach - can you imagine: it didn't take long and the book-shelves looked as before: amply filled!

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  16. Great post. I know exactly what you mean!
    My dream is to get to the stage you seem to be at, where although you have lots of books, they are all neatly shelved and visible, with none sideways on top, so that you CAN take them out and re-read them.
    Unfortunately I have so many - and with other things in front and stacked on top - that they are not readily accessible. You have inspired me to make renewed efforts to declutter.
    It always makes me angry to think that the number of books you can have depends on the size of your house.
    Enjoy your memories and renewals :)

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  17. Lovely book post. Buried in books, when we die we will be buried in books, our home is already one large bookcase and more are coming in, o noooo, but we both love them, my husband F. is a thriller devourer and I collect gardening books and Dutch literature. It's all perfect when they are on the shelves but when I go to clean the rooms it's about like your first photo. But....who should we be without books....

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  18. I love to look at other peoples bookshelves. Yours look like they would be a great place to peruse.

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  19. Dear Elaine what a treasure you have in those books. I am an avid reader and so understand about not wanting to part with them. I know where to come when I need something good to read. Hope progress in the house continues and soon things will return to normal. Have a delightful day. Hugs!

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  20. Always good to see and have books around ...
    I am so pleased things are progressing and slowly,slowly you (and the army of men) are getting there.

    All the best Jan

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  21. What a lovely post about one of my favourite things....books!Like you I consider many to be old friends and couldn't possibly part with them. Lovely seeing some of yours, they are in much better condition than mine!xxx

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  24. Another book collector here and who finds it so hard to part with any. I have tried to de-clutter my bookcases, but each time I decide that one must go, I decide I'll just read it one more time . . . .
    I'm so pleased to see that gradually your house is once more becoming your beloved home; is there very much more to be done? I hope that soon the workmen will be packing up their tools and leaving you with a beautiful home where you can relax and be at peace with your surroundings. In the meantime, enjoy your beautiful garden. - Rosemary xxxx

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  25. Judi my other half has has been drooling over this post especially the first photo which she tells me she would like to paint glad to see your wonderfully romantic posts continue

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  26. Books, they are our best friends, aren't they?

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