Friday, September 14, 2007

A wall of words

I love words. (no big surprise there to anyone who's listened to me ramble on)

I'm not sure of it's origin, but I can always remember finding joy in a story book, whether read by my parents, aunt or siblings (occasionally). When at primary school, my treat for a good report card was the choice of one or more books through the school book club. The number of books I was allowed to buy directly related to my grades and teacher comments - I received bonus points for effort and being well behaved.

As I have mentioned, I'm in the market for a new home, and in that process will be selling my current unit, which has served me so well. To keep that process moving along, I had a couple of schmoozy types real estate agents around to my place last week. While both gave me a similar quote on the value of my place, their manner and approach varied. Having wandered through the 4 rooms, we quickly reached my junk spare room, with its single bed, 1970's style laminated desk, built in linen closet (aka wardrobe) and library.

You see, to me, 8 shelves running the length of a wall and filling the entire height constitutes a library. My Dad lovingly varnished the 2 wide, 3 medium and 3 narrow pine shelves; installed brackets and created a functional and yes, quite stylish framework for my many books. As I stood back admiring my library, one of the aforementioned schmoozy types real estate agents commented that 'they (the shelves) are removable - good' and proceeded to make a note in his fancy leather compendium. I stood, mouth agape with horror - guess who won't be getting my business?

Once I'd pushed him out the door said goodbye, I returned to my spare room and resumed my reverie. OK, I admit, I am now trying to store 2 layers of books on each shelf, and one shelf has been given over to videos (remember those quaint historical artifacts?), but once I tidy it up a bit (?), those shelves contain some of the best memories of my life.

The whole top shelf is devoted to Enid Blyton, and a few other childhood favourites. A delicate hardbook copy of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang brings back memories of accusing my parents of skipping bits of the story, as they read me that book for the 75th time and I recited the story.

I have an eclectic mix of biographies, recipe books, a compendium of Winnie the Pooh and poetry. I also have the complete sets of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables and nearly all of Beatrix Potter.

Of course, I have the complete works of Jane Austen, as well as the Brontes (though not all of those books have been read). My copies of Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion are lovingly dog-eared and almost spineless. They sit alongside economics, psychology and employment law text books, and close to atlases and other reference books (including a thesaurus passed down from mother to daughter). It's not quite the dewey decimal system, but there is logic to the collection.

Imagine my joy when my good friend and exercise buddy lurextoga showed me this link to a website on which you can record all of your books - oh wow, I think I'm in heaven!! I look forward to spending many constructive hours documenting my wall of words.

... and here's just the start of my collection, by me!!!

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