Friday, 29 April 2011

Weekword

This week my namesake Sally picked the word book. It made me think of a slang phrase I like to use, "Let's book" - which made me go away and look at where it came from. Interesting!

I grew up in a book house. At work, we often try to guess how many of our pupils are also growing up in book houses, meaning anywhere where books are valued and collected. I hypothesise that they are the ones who don't write in the text books, or tear corners of their exercise books out to write notes, since they have been taught a little more respect for tomes than that.

I currently live in a book house, too. I have a shelf above me as I sit here, full of all my university text books (which, if I'm honest, were not well thumbed during my degree and have been even less used since) and a random selection of History textbooks I keep for when I need to set cover. Donwstairs is another heaving bookcase, which holds them two rows deep. I am getting rid of them, a few at a time. I love having lots of books around and in an ideal world I would have a library, but we don't have the space for that really.

Of course, now I have my Kindle, so the need for actual books is diminished. I have lost count of the number of people who have said, "But it's not like a real book! It doesn't smell like a book!" which is very true. However, it is better than a book for me, because I keep it with me all the time and that means I read more, which makes it a winner in my eyes.

Unfortunately, it does not fulfill the secondary purpose of books - to sit prettily on a shelf, looking inviting. I think growing up in a book house creates an unusual love for this secondary purpose. I would spend hours staring at my parents' bookshelves, and my grandparents' bookshelves, and my aunt and uncle's bookshelves. I was in the library every month, and up in the adult section by the age of 12, having exhausted the paltry 15 shelves of teen literature. Being around a lot of books is calming, and reassuring, and full of promise. And can create familiarity in unfamiliar surroundings - when I went to Cornwall with my friends last month, I was delighted to walk into a bedroom with two walls lined with old testimonials and Methodist texts - it was like being back at my gran's house. I was up late that night re-reading From Witchcraft To Christ.

Good word this week! Pop along to Sally's blog to read the other entries and find out who'll be hosting next week.

6 comments:

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I love books too...they are my oldest and dearest friends.

Biomouse said...

Oh I am very much with you on the whole familiarity and comfort that books bring to any place, it's the first thing I tend to unpack no matter where I go. In fact, my love was completely solidified when I saw Johnny Got His Gun on my husband's bookshelf in his condo.

Cyndi Murdoch and Jackie Travis said...

I love books too, but I'm having a hard time transitioning between the 'real' book that I can set on the shelf and the books I download on I-pad.... definitely less bulky, but not as pretty on display.

Carola Bartz said...

I love the word "comfort" in relation to books. A house without books is somehow an empty house to me, something essential is missing. You write it so accurate, that feeling of a book house.

Sally said...

Thank you for the lovely comments - it's nice to know this affinity I have with books is not unique to me!

Burhan Ali said...

I'm very much like you when it comes to books except that sadly I never grew up surrounded by them.

It makes me cringe to see people writing in books or (possibly worse) highlighting them. A colleague of mine recently asked to borrow my highlighter while holding what looked suspiciously like one of my books that I had taken in to work. Luckily it was hers, but I still felt like withholding the highlighter.

Also, I too love my Kindle for the same reasons you do.