Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Abundance of Books

When I take in my surroundings, the thing I see in the greatest abundance is books. No, I don't see that pile of laundry or those dirty dishes. Some people have selective hearing. I have selective vision.

I have books overflowing from my bookshelves, stacked in the corner of my bedroom, on my bedside table, on the coffee table, and stored in huge boxes in the basement for when I need to replenish my supply upstairs.

BOOKS, BOOKS, EVERYWHERE BOOKS!! Some of these might look familiar to some of you.

I have a book in my purse, my desk, my car, and the bathroom cupboard. They're tucked away all over the place!

I tend to read four or five novels at a time and I have no plans to decrease my bookly abundance. I just keep adding to it. I DO plan to read every last one of them. I love books. The weight of them, the look of them, the smell of the paper. Their multi-colored covers all lined up on a shelf. I have always loved books and hope I'm never without them in my life. And don't get me started on the abundance of stories and characters just waiting to be discovered between the covers.

My mother instilled a love of books at a very early age. My family didn't have much money when I was small, but I had twelve golden books. Do you remember those? They had a gold foil spine, but were cheap. I'm not sure they make them anymore. Every night, without fail, my mother would put me in bed and sit down to read a book to me. One book would turn into two. Two into three. I would never let her leave until she'd read every book I owned aloud. All twelve of them. When she'd get tired (she'd worked all day, after all), she'd try to pull a fast one and skip a page or two. I'd say, "Mommy, that's not how it goes." I, of course, had every word memorized. This continued each night for several years. When my little sister was born, the reading routine was disrupted, so I made up my own stories in my head. A writer was born!

Last week, I added to my book abundance when my author copies of Backstage Pass arrived. I dragged the box into the house, opened it as if it contained the holy grail, and lifted one of the treasures from inside. I held my book in my hands, tested its weight, felt the texture of the cover, smelled the paper, listened to the sounds of the pages flipping, stared at the cover and the text, and then I clutched it against my chest and hugged it.
Hey! At least, I didn't taste it. Much.
I'm very familiar with the words inside this book, but the physical entity was entirely new to me. For someone who loves books as much as I do, it was an amazing experience to hold that book in my hands for the first time. And the second time. And the third. I can't stop picking it up. Maybe I'll eventually get around to reading it again. The ending still makes me cry happy tears.
Okay, I couldn't resist reading parts of it. And it still makes me laugh.

Now I have one of my own books mixed in with my book hoard and it gives me an abundance of smiles. I know when I see Backstage Pass on a bookstore shelf on October 1st, I'm going to shed abundant tears of joy. Debut authors are so weird. Or maybe it's just me...

Do you own an abundance of books? Is the physical form of a book important to you or are you perfectly happy reading on an e-reader?


  1. I have lots of paperbacks and hard covers. I've just recently started getting e-books. Reading them is strange still, but we'll see, I might grow to love it. I'm a huge fan of MP3 books and I look forward to having abundant options in how I get my fiction fix. :)

  2. I always have two things in my purse and one of them is a good book. Sometimes it's research for my WIP, but usually, it's one of my keeper authors (none of whom write quickly enough!). You are absolutely right: Books are a great, wonderful abundance.

  3. Olivia, I love books, too. I have them on shelves and in bins. I'm like you, we didn't have a lot of money growing up, and some of my earliest memories are of my mom taking me to the library to get Beatrix Potter books. Just seeing those little green books on the shelves was magical.

    I think I'm going to ask for an iPad for Christmas, which will help with the clutter in my house, but I'll still have lots of books around, I'm sure.

    I Can't wait to get author copies. That must be just the bomb.

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm sooooooo thrilled for you! Enjoy it!

    And, you're right; I do see a few familiar books!

    Get ready for the fan mail, Olivia!

  5. In another life, I was a dragon. Not a fire-breathing, ill-tempered dragon, but one that must have hoarded over a treasure. Books are my treasure and with moves, the hardest things to give away. So no matter how heavy they are--they come with me! :) And I continually add more to them!

  6. Well, shoot, the pictures wouldn't load for me the first time, so I had to comment again--loved seeing your smiling face as you hold your book in your hands! Oct 1 is almost here!!!

  7. LOL! Most of those books look familiar! But there's nothing quite like receiving one box filled with a whole stack of your own book. Aren't author's copies wonderful?

  8. When I downsized to a smaller home, I gave away over 2,000 books. That left me with five bookcases full of keepers.

    The chief cause of my house's persistent untidiness is that books litter every surface.

    I loved the picture of you smiling as you read YOUR book.

  9. It's great to be around other book lovers.

    Brenda, I know a lot of books are only available electronically, so I'm sure I'll have to breakdown and buy one eventually.

    Grace, you have room for something besides a book in your purse? I guess I need a bigger purse.

    Anita, it is the bomb! Just you wait. And we lived 30 miles from the nearest library when I was that small. After my dad joined the army and we moved on base, we went to the library every week, so I could branch out beyond my 12 golden books.

    Thanks, Judi! You know you're on my keeper shelf for sure now. :-)

    Terry, you still like books after having to move an entire library? You're dedicated!

    Wow, Mary Margaret. 2,000? I'd cry.

  10. Olivia, your bookshelf is a lot like mine. Overcrowded, but much loved! I've run out of room on the shelf and can't keep the cats from clawing up the cardboard boxes so I've started using those recycled bags you get from the groceries etc. They store books really well and are much easier to move around,they have handles!

  11. Oh, Olivia, what a gorgeous photo of you with YOUR book!!! I can't wait to get my hands on my own copy! And I recognize all the books on your shelf with it. Wombats rule!! You know I adore books, and folks who've been to my house can tell you they are in every single room, including the bathrooms. LOL! Enjoy every single second of this wonderful dream come true!

  12. Isn't it exciting to get your author copies? I'm still waiting for mine to arrive...

    I like the physical form of a book, but I'm not adverse to e-readers.

  13. Books in every room and on every surface--yup, I've got the same decorating scheme in my house. I love books and words and story.

    When I was young, our family moved to a new state. When Dad was driving us to the new house, we stopped at the library so we could all get library cards for this new place. I'm so glad for Dad's priorities.

    The books look awesome, Olivia. Can't wait to get one in my hands too.

  14. I just moved at the end of the summer, and the majority of my boxes were full of books! I have a TON of books, and keep about two in my car and at least one in my purse, and they are all over the apartment. And I still have some books that live at my parents'--one day I'll have room for them all!

    Yay on getting your author copies--they look great :)

  15. Jessica- I'll keep those reusable bags in mind. Those boxes get HEAVY and are so hard to move.

    Kat- Always room for more books written by Wombats! I look forward to the day when your book sits on my shelf.

    I hope you get yours soon, Shana. Doesn't it come out on Oct 1st? You should get them really soon!

    readwriteandedit - I like your decorating scheme and it sounds like your dad had his priorities perfectly in line.

  16. Danielle- I've always wanted a library in my house so I have room to display all my books. As soon as I'm rich, it's happening! And my author's copies DO look great, don't they?

  17. Congratulations, Olivia! When I get my books in, I always sleep with one under the pillow. I know, I'm strange. I reach under the pillow several times and feel it there, just to make sure I'm not dreaming.

    I too have an abundance of books. When my parents divorced, my dad would take me to a book store every week and let me buy as many books as I wanted. That's really the only way he spoiled me. I've been a collector ever since.

  18. Okay, I draw the line at licking books, but I confess to doing all the aforementioned. Books are magic. They have the power to transport, transform, and transcend our lives. My favorite form of entertainment.

    Congratulations on YOUR book, Olivia. I can't wait for my copy...*muttering Stupid Amazon hurry up

    I have been trying swell the tide of books, I'm convinced that mine are bunnies 'cause they reproduce when I'm not looking. They must. Seriously, how could I have that many books otherwise? I have started donating books to my local library and just checking them out again if I want. All except the special ones I love too much to be parted.

    Bookcases, I need more bookcases. They run across the top of everything and huddle in piles in cupboards everywhere. Poor things.

  19. BOOKS!!! PRETTY!!!!

    So happy for you, Olivia!

  20. Robin - I knew I was forgetting something. Tonight I'll sleep with it!

    VA- They do seem to reproduce on their own at times!

    Lisa - Thanks!

  21. I love old fashioned books. Someday I'm sure I'll get an e-reader of some sort, but I still love the feel of a book, the smell of the book - I just love books!

    And nothing is better than holding your very own book! Congratulations - savor the moment!

  22. I don't lick books, but I have been known to pet them. I have a lot of bookshelves at my house, and my TBR pile - which resides in our bedroom (Mark is SO tolerant!) is officially OUT OF HAND.

    As a reader, I prefer reading paper books. I'm...kinda gadgeted out.

  23. Add one e-book to your must read list from an old friend. Christina Harlin's novel, "My Boss is a Serial Killer" is now available as an e-book. You can find it at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/24810

  24. I do have an abundance of books, all sorts, on all kinds of subjects. I love the weight of them in my hands, the promised joy in store for me before I read... everything about them. I plan on getting an e-reader of some sort and I think I will love it too. Cause the bottom line for me is loving of reading... everything and anything, I read labels, free newspapers, any old magazine... billboards, signs.

    And I can't wait until I get to hold your books in my hot little hands too. I'm so proud of you and all that you have accomplished!


  25. Olivia, books, books and more books, many quite familiar. Many congrats on your back stage reading.

  26. OMG I'm thinking who's the lucky girl who has Backstage Pass already? She's got to be a friend of the author LOL. Then I scrolled down. Okay, I'm not jealous anymore MUCH. I can't wait to read this one. Congrats, I can only imagine the thrill you got when you opened that box. I too always have to have a book in my purse and my TBR pile is actually pileS.
    Best wishes.

  27. Amanda- I'm savoring. One thing that comes close is holding a dear friend's book for the first time. Especially if you picked it up at a bookstore.

    Tamara- I think this is a case of "Love me, love my books." Some husbands/boyfriends have to put up with fickle felines. Books aren't as cuddily, but you don't have to scoop their litter box.

    Aries- I read everything I can get my hands on, too. And thanks for you constant support.

    James- I thought you might recognize a few of the books I own.

    Mary- I honestly laughed out loud when I read that. Thanks for brightening my morning!

  28. WhooHoo! Congrats, Olivia. You look fabulous with your babies in your hand.

    I just got mine yesterday and am walking on clouds! Enjoy.

    My daughter moved out last week *sob* but that gives me an empty room! I intend to turn the spare room into a library! Finally I will invest in a set of bookshelves that match and are nice, and then ALL my books that are scattered about the house will be in one place! I can't wait.

  29. Olivia, I'm late to the party. I didn't get a chance to read this before I lost internet for the final time last night.

    I LOVE the pictures of you with your book. I've been looking forward to seeing such a picture for several years and now, YAAAAAYYYY! her it is. And may I say, I never doubted I WOULD see such picture.

    Like you I love books and always have. I tend to read one at a time, tho. Well, before I was doing reviews, now I usually have at least two three going. I always carry a book where ever I go.

    Great post, Sweetie!

  30. Oh, Sharon, it must be a time of both pride and sorrow when your real babies move out. I'm glad you got your books to soothe the ache a bit.

    Hi, Sia! Thanks for having faith in me. It kept me going through all the rejection that came before publication.

  31. I love your selective vision, Olivia! Dustbunnies are my friends. :}

  32. I read both in paperback form and on my e-reader. Mostly on e-reader now, though. Love it! Gives me even more room for books - and helps keep my house clearer. :)

  33. I love everything about books. Both paper and electronic but secretly I love the paper book. I guess it would be my comfort object that I am never without. My computer may crash taking all my ebooks with it but a paper book will always be with me. For everyone else - you must buy this book - Backstage Pass is awesome.

  34. My house is abundantly full of books, but I'm looking for a solution to the bookcase mystery. I run out of space for books, buy another new bookcase and put the overflow there, and somehow by the next week the new bookcase is overflowing, too, even though I'd swear we hadn't gotten a single book in that time. I think it's a conspiracy. :)

  35. Kathryne- Dustbunnies? I don't see no stinkin' dustbunnies. :-)

    Catherine- I have to say, a clean house is a big motivator to get an e-reader.

    Rory- Thanks for stopping in. YOU are awesome!

    Abigail- Maybe yours are reproducing like VA's. She has this bunny theory.