Arthur Rackham, Book Collections, Books, Diana Gabaldon, E-Books, Gibson's Bookstore in Concord NH, Handmade Books, Independent Bookstores, J. R. R. Tolkien, Kenneth Grahame, Local Bookstores, Public Libraries, River Run Books in Portsmouth NH, Tasha Tudor, Used Bookstores
I suspect I was born with a book in my hands. I’ve always been drawn to the mystery within every book. What is inside? Each book is like a well-wrapped gift, until you open it, you won’t know the secrets that lay between the covers.
Some books are more physically appealing than others. The covers may be well-worn or hand-tooled leather, or perhaps highly textured fabric. Maybe an amazing illustration graces it, drawing you to it like a magnet. The pages could be smooth and gilded or jagged and appear hand-torn. A book can smell of fresh glue and ink or a bit dusty and fragile. Before you even open a book, you’ll get your first impression.
In an era of electronic books, I am a holdout. I’ve been called a Luddite, affectionately I assume, by some of those near and dear to me. That’s okay. In some ways, it may be so. I don’t oppose the advent of e-books, and for many, they may make reading more tangible, but I choose to maintain my life-long relationship with actual, vs. virtual, books.
Books speak to me. I don’t mean the battery operated sort of language, I mean communication that makes me not want to stop reading, even when it’s hours past the time I should be asleep.”Just a few more pages…”
I love books. Of course I have preferences. Books that contain wonderful illustrations, whether they are for children or adults, are particular favorites. Vintage books, beautiful to look at, as well as read, are also very appealing to me.
For actual content matter, I’m partial to well written Historical Fiction, cookbooks and reference books. I own an extensive library of books focused on New England. These run the gamut of New England architectural styles; New England-based fiction and Haunted New England locations. New England authors and places, as well as rural and maritime topics fascinate me as well.
I’m very interested in British architecture and customs. While my cookbooks run to a more international flavor, I do have quite a few that highlight various aspects of New England and British regional fare, and many that describe old-time cooking methods and foods.
Old poetry books and classical literature pose a strong lure, as do gardening books and those covering self-sufficiency. I have been known to haunt used bookstores, sometimes nearly camping out on premises. My oldest son and I would oftentimes make a day of planning a road trip, connecting dots on a map between used bookstores in New Hampshire and Vermont. We’d add a picnic in the middle and call it a great day.
A good book can transport you to another place, time and body even. The way the words work together, can inform and elevate. I have a few books that have no words at all, just pictures, one such is Boat by Barbara Remington. They force you to use your imagination and leave the story to some interpretation. What an interesting concept!
One of my favorite modern authors is Diana Gabaldon who writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist, especially her Outlander series, but J. R. R.Tolkien’s Trilogy and Hobbit are right up there for favorite classics. The one book I read over and over again is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Arthur Rackham is my all time favorite illustrator. He illustrated many classic fairy tales and other stories where intricate images of people, fantasy creatures and amazing trees were featured. Rackham also illustrated a version of The Wind in the Willows. Ultimate!
Books fascinate me so much, I’ve actually created a few of my own. One of my books is about one of my other favorite subjects; doll houses. This book, Briar Rose, is about a doll house I built and photographed, then I wrote and created the book. It features handmade paper and several other natural materials as well.
I could and have, spent many hours, even at a time, in public libraries and bookstores.
Local bookstores are becoming an endangered species. The survivors offer more services than ever. Those independent bookstores, like River Run Books located in Portsmouth NH and Gibson’s Bookstore located in Concord NH, have become integral to their communities. They offer events,such as inviting local and well-known authors to visit the store for discussion sessions and signing copies of their works. The volumes I own, signed by authors, are especially precious to me!
How does one have an electronic book signed anyway?