Friday, May 25, 2012

A Happy Home is Full of Books

by Meredith Cole

I grew up in a home surrounded by books. It feels normal to me to be able to walk over to a shelf after dinner and find a book I've never read before. I have happy memories of spending a summer in high school reading from the shelf filled with poetry, another summer reading through fiction classics, and one winter break reading Shakespeare plays.

My own home now has floor to ceiling book cases in our living room filled with books. I had to give some books away when we moved (my husband insisted), but I think I've quickly collected more than we gave away (don't tell him I said so--but I think he's already guessed). Some books I can never give away--they're signed books from friends or favorites I love to read and reread. Some others I will eventually pass on to friends or donate to the library (but mostly so I'll have more space to fill).

It's the oddest sensation for me to walk into a house that has no books at all. It's eery, like a house empty of people and full of echoes. I keep looking around wondering where they keep their books. To have none seems so strange.

What's my favorite book on my bookshelf? I'm always thinking of the latest book I'm reading. I just finished reading DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by Erik Larson. It's a book about building and designing the Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer who used the fair to get even more victims. It highly deserves the Edgar Award it received, and it was a very enjoyable read.

I'm about to start reading Susan Orlean's book "Rin Tin Tin." I really enjoyed "The Orchid Thief" so I'm looking forward to jumping into her next book.

So what's my favorite thing to read? Like any writer, it's writing "The End" when I finish a new book (which I'm about to do any day now), and dreaming of the day when my next book will be on someone's bookcase.

So--what's on your bookshelf?


Reece said...

I'm going to have to finally read "Devil in the White City" since everyone seems to love it. Congratulations on your soon-to-be-finished book, Meredith!

Kelli Stanley said...

Congratulations, Meredith! Nothing beats that feeling of closing out a book ... I usually go through a post-partum depression afterward, though. :)

I've been meaning to read Devil in the White City--my mom read it and loved it (and she was a native Chicagoan).

Michael Wiley said...

Yes, *Devil in the White City*: a really good book (and about a really good city).

I have the feeling that your bookshelves look a lot like my bookshelves.

Congratulations on the last stages of the writing.

Alan Orloff said...

Thanks for the recommendation for Devil in the White City! Like I need another book to read!!!