Books,  Personal

Books on the shelf

Ever since I was a little girl I have been quite stubborn, I think and think and then I decide. When I have decided I never change, I never waver. But over the years I have learned that some things you grow out of or you realize that whatever you thought you wanted is not exactly what you wanted after all. Even though this is hard for me, I do think it is good for people to change their minds if something doesn’t sit right with them anymore. True strength is acknowledging that you changed your mind. Over the years there is one thing I never wavered on and with this one, I am sure I never will. This is not like my favourite colour that changed after 20 years because preschool me and adult me do not share the same favourite colour. I mean who would have thought? Books though… Books have always been my favourite thing. Even when I do not persist in this hobby all the time, it is always there. It has been my mum’s doing, my mum’s genes that love reading but also her nurturing nature, our trips to the library and eventually the bookstore. She made my brother and me fall in love with books, with reading, and with stories. She taught us there is a world out there with so many beautiful stories for you to just know. For you to just read. That there is something special in each book.

I love books, I love the smell of books old and new. I love the feel of a book, the way it sits in your hand. I love the colour of the paper and the feel of it between your fingers when you are frantically skipping to the next page. I love a straight never opened spine but I love a well-loved abused spine. A spine that says this book has been read and read again. I love quotes from books, that make you feel some type of way. I love the sound a book makes when you pick it up when you read it. For me, reading is clearly a multisensory experience.

But most of all, I love how books make me feel. The excitement but also dread to start the story. Excitement to meet a new person, a new world but also knowing what will come, the downfall, the heartbreak. The feeling in your stomach when a twist occurs, or when something sad happens. The bafflement you feel when the story goes on in a way that makes you close the book and stare towards nothing with the only feeling being bewilderment. And then the ending, the feeling of emptiness between you and the book when you part with the story. But also the feeling a story brings you when you come back to it. Even years later when the story greets you like an old friend. Sigh, I simply love books, I love the potential of the story. The ebb and flow of the lives these books people live. All these books, all these stories are laced with heartbreak and sorrow but also with laughter, joy, and love. In the end, their lives are easy, easier than most of ours as you can examine the story and the conversations. You can put it away on a shelf when it gets too much, you can read the end and see that it will all turn out fine. I love predicting stories because knowing is where I am comfortable. In so many ways book lives are so much easier than living your own life. You are not the main character, unfortunately. A smile from a cute guy (or girl) does not always mean they like you. Some texts will always remain unanswered, when you step on that airplane no one will come and stop you. And when the stakes are raised you truly have things to lose.

In a sense, a book is a pressure cooker of life. You stumble in and then get kicked out. But then… You can always come back.

There are books I love, books that changed some part of me. Book people that put something in my heart or authors that I simply cannot let go of. These books I keep, these books stay on my bookshelves. I used to want to keep all the books I read, I always felt sad when I was young and I had to say goodbye to a book from the library. But I realized something important for me. I do not need nor want 1000 books, I do not want my library. There are libraries there are online stores. I have audible for certain books. The books on my shelves I have either not fully read yet as sometimes you buy a few at the same time. Most of the books though are the books I have read. I can tell you the story in the most vivid detail for most I know how they became my possession. All I can tell you is what I enjoyed the most about the story.

For me, bookshelves are not for displaying they are for stories. For telling stories and for showing stories. Bookshelves are so personal, there is no such thing as a universal bookshelf. For years to come my bookshelves might grow or they might shrink. I know one thing though when someone picks up a book from my shelf and asks if I recommend it I will know the answer.


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