A friend of mine commented on my previous post about digital books, noting that as much as she loves it, she still prefers actual books. And I completely agree. I appreciate that I have 60 books on my cellphone, so that if I'm stuck and bored somewhere, I have a large variety to choose from. But my home is a tribute to the fact that my family loves actual, paper bound books.
As I sit here in my living room, I am surrounded by 5 bookshelves. One of them is absolutely covered in boardgames, but the other 4 are dedicated to books. There's a small bookshelf in my kitchen filled with cookbooks. Another large bookshelf in my dining room. Both of my boys have tall bookshelves in their rooms filled with age appropriate children's books (many that I had when I was a child). And Mark and I have 2 more bookshelves in our bedroom. Our home IS a library, filled with our favorite books.
Some people collect knick-knacks or brick-a-brack. I collect books. They -are- my decorations. And sources of entertainment. We have a large assortment. Our paperbacks tend towards sci/fi, fantasy, fairytales and a couple of romance or horror for variety. Our hard bound overflow with classics, educational books and how to. And that how to collection is fairly extensive-- gardening, wood working, house repair, sewing, quilting, calligraphy, pet training, origami...just to name a few that I can see from my chair.
My boys delight in getting to chose a different, or favored, book to read each night. Books have taught me how to read, how to juggle, how to embroider. They've improved my vocabulary. They've taken me on great adventures.
I still remember the summer when I was 12 and read the entire David Eddings, Belgaraid and Mallorian series, pretty much non-stop, without sleeping. I believe it took me 4 days. What I remember most is that I stopped seeing words, and instead, saw the characters in action... I'm sure sleep deprivation played a hand in that, but I also like to attribute it to the skill of the author.
The other day, I caught my oldest after bedtime, under his blanket with a flashlight reading a chapter book (: It brought back fond memories from when I was a child, doing the same thing.
One of the things that I absolutely adore about my husband is that he is as big a reader as I am-- I love that there are times when the television and gaming consoles are turned off, the computers are walked away from, and we're sitting in the living room, just reading in each other's company. It warms my heart when I'll stop reading long enough to look up and and see that all four of us are curled up with a good book (though my youngest still needs some help as he's the newest reader in our house).
Believe it or not, but I've actually culled our books four times since we've been here. I've reduced the number of books in our home by a little over 200-- books we had duplicates of (though I kept 8 of my dictionaries and 4 different versions of the bible); books that weren't very good (like the entire collection of Twilight); books that were obsolete (any computer related book over 2 years old): All of them made their way to goodwill, where I know that other bibliophiles will find and appreciate them, and give them good homes.