The Love of Reading

She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. –Louisa May Alcott

Susan here, thinking there are So. Many. Books. in the world right now, in our lives, in my house—I’ll never find the time to read them all. And yet I keep acquiring them. They look so good, so interesting on the shelves, stacked in toppling piles here and there . . . they even look great in rows and rows in my Kindle . . .

There’s a comfort in being surrounded by books, by a wealth of knowledge and thought and imagination, comfort in the aesthetics of books on the shelves, color and texture and the old woodsy vanilla scent of books and paper, comfort in the promise they hold and the memories they keep for us. There can never be too many books – especially in summer, when time, opportunity, and weather tend to encourage a little more reading time!

We’re very, very fond of books here at Wenches, and none of us can live without them, in whatever form they take—and we love best to share that love. There’s always that chance we’ll find a new treasure for our shelves.

A room without books is like a body without a soul. –Cicero

I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. — C.S. Lewis

Read. Read anything. Read the things they say are good for you, and the things they claim are junk. You’ll find what you need to find. Just read. – Neil Gaiman

Each of us find truly special reads—books we’ve read that we won’t forget, and want to keep. For me, those books hold personal meaning, memories, emotions, insights that shifted my thinking or opened up some world to me. Some books become such a place of comfort that I’ll read them again. Some are books I read in childhood, some later. You never know when a special book will appear in your life, a book that connects so individually and intimately and uniquely that you want to keep it close and share it too. What captures one person may not click for another.

I cannot live without books.–Thomas Jefferson


How about you? Tell us about your love of books! (There’s a prize to be had – I’ll send a copy of my new novel, The Scottish Bride, to a commenter chosen at random!)

What novel would you never, ever give up?   

What books are on your nightstand right now?

Will you ever get through your reading pile or complete your book collection?


13 thoughts on “The Love of Reading”

  1. The sight of my bookshelf brings a smile to my face, walking down the aisles in my local library inspires me to inhale deeply and when I see someone reading I know they are off on an adventure. I couldn’t give away my copy of Emma by Jane Austen or The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (and obviously judging by the bookshelf, can’t give very many books away). My chair stand where I read has Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney, The Rosary Hour by Pope John Paul ll and I’m headed to the library today to see what has come in for me. Books are a delight, my favorite bookmark has a quote I’d love to share “I have to many books,” said no one ever.

  2. Susan-what a gorgeous post!
    I would never give up Mary Stewart’s Madam, will you talk? Currently on my nightstand: Anne Gracie’s The Spring Bride (re-read) , Nora Roberts’ Mind Games and The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman. Current book in hand: Liar’s Point by Laura Griffin. I fear I will never get through the ever-gtowing/overflowing book shelves. Not to mention the Kindle. Reading is not the worst addiction to have…

  3. What gorgeous pictures!!! The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer is a book I could never part with. Saying that I couldn’t give away any of her books!!
    I would have to live to about a hundred and fifty if I was to clear my TBR. My kindle is also stuffed with books but I guess when you’re a bookaholic what else is to be expected:)
    Reading is my greatest comfort in life.

  4. I am a reading addict and couldn’t imagine living in a house without books. But recently we spent 2 years living in my parents-in-law’s house surrounded by their not-to-my taste books with all ours in store, and I am now converted to a kindle. The downside is it is more difficult to see how huge my TBR pile is! Having said that, I would always keep Georgette Heyer and early Stella Riley as once they were very difficult to come by. I have two books from the library, the Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abi Waxman and Long Bright River by Liz Moore, to be read and a break from a screen might be a good thing

  5. Those are great quotes. The book on my night table is Mary Jo Putney’s “Dancing on the Wind”. I could have sworn I read it years ago, but nothing seems familiar so far, so it’s like reading it for the first time!
    And speaking of books, sorry to ruin the mood, but I just read this very disturbing post by Liz Lenz about her book getting copied and a mangled version created by AI being sold on Amazon. I don’t know why Amazon can’t stop this, I see these fake books everywhere!

  6. I don’t reread books anymore buy I still have childhood favorites like Little Women and Heidi and later books like Georgette Heyer’s, Anne of Green Gables, Star Trek and Star Wars. I’m reading Simu Liu’s autobiography and a Special Edition romance now as well as Sharon Shinn’s Whispering Wood on my Nook.
    My TBR pile and pre-ordered books is a lot, but thanks for the chance for your newest.

  7. Thank you so much, Susan, for a post close to my heart!

    I always love re-reading Georgette Heyer. All her Regency novels are so well written in the language of that time and the story. “Cotillion” is hilarious. I would keep that book and the rest of her novels. I have yet to get to her mysteries.

    Kindle for PC from Amazon is an easier way for me to keep books.

  8. I am a longtime lover of books, and I cannot imagine living in a house without books. I have many favorite books on my shelves; I also have many unread books at home. And then there’s my Kindle which has favorites as well as (cough, cough) thousands of unread e-books. If the apocalypse should arrive, I will have no shortage of books to read. Oh, and it’s the rare week that goes by without my stopping at the library to pick up items from the hold shelf. Biblioholic, who me?

    Thank you for a lovely post, Susan.

  9. What lovely post and a subject dear to my heart. I love your.choice of quotes and illus.
    I have loved books since i was a child and vowed i would have a wood panelled library of my own one day. While that dream never materialized, my apt is crowded with books. Every room has walls of bookshelves and piles on almost every surface. I built all my own bookcases to fit into the spaces. Because of my love of books and reading I studied for a library degree and recently retired from working in one of local libraries. One of my favorite quotes is a well worn ine “There is nothung like a frigate to take us lands away…”

    As for keepers, there are too many to name just one……all my Heyers, my Scarlet Pimpernel series by Orczy, The Williamsburg Series by Elswyth Thane, the Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit, the Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster, the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and oh, a hundred others!

    My TBR pile is so long, I will never die! Whenever i finish a book, another one comes along to add to the pile! In fact, i just returned from the library with another armful….
    Sigh, so many books, so little time…..but current reads are, the Glassmaker by Tracey Chevalier, Death and Sensibility by Elizabeth Baker(a Jane Austen mystery), a Refiner’s Fire by Donna Leon, Murder at La villette by Cara Black, All’s Fair in Love and War by Virginia Heath, Never met a duke like you by Amalie Howard and a few histories of the Regency period and the Napoleonic Wars. I am usually all over the lot in my reading(whuch is why i may never get through my TBR pile! 😊)
    Bibliomania is not a curse, but a delight!

  10. What books would I never give up? Oh, such a long list!
    Mansfield Park
    The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings
    Farmer in the Sky (Robert A. Heinlein)
    Lady of Quality – Georgette Heyer
    The War of the Worlds – H. G. Wells
    The Ghost and Lady Alice – Marion Chesney
    Mara Daughter of the Nile – Eloise Jarvis McGraw
    Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz – L. Frank Baum

    I have a floor to ceiling bookshelf in my bedroom near the bed, so I don’t keep books on the bedside tables 🙂 – it’s where I keep some of the books I haven’t got to as yet. My kindle is on the bed next to me. Right now I’m on the fifth of Patricia Rice’s Gravesyde Prior mysteries. The most recent purchases were a Sofia Holloway called To Catch a Husband and The Coming of the Saucers by Raymond Palmer & Kenneth Arnold (as updated by his daughter).

    I have quit “collecting” books as I’ve run out of room for them. I do have many vintage regencies stored in keeper boxes in the closet and I’m using a swap club to disperse books I once loved but know I will never get to again. In my dream house I planned to have bookshelves in every room and I was prepared to fill them!


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