Starting last year I began keeping track of all the books I’ve bought. Every year I think I’ve curbed my book buying, but each year I realize I’ve bought around the same amount.
It’s an addiction that I’ve learned to live with. I avoid book browsing for months at a time but once I walk into a bookshop, I take a deep breath and smell the fresh books. It’s both welcoming and comforting.
I have a number of bookmarks, and yet I still sometimes use a receipt, a ripped piece of paper, or even just a pencil. Here are most of them. Not all, of course, because there’s probably some lost in old books on my bookcase. And I did get rid of some of them, those that I had no recollection of where they came from, as well as the duplicates.
Bookmarks are wonderful because they are anchors to who we were and where we were. They also mark where we left off and save a book from dog-eared pages and silly scraps of paper that only get lost in the pages.
Pictured above are some of my earlier bookmarks, from when I was in grammar school and high school.
Every year I promise myself I’ll read more books than I buy. Every year I promise myself that I’ll read more of the unread books on my shelves. And every year I promise myself that I’ll reread my favorite books. This year I did not reread any books. And this year I certainly bought more books than I read. But I did read some books that had been on my to read list for a while. Continue reading →
Ever since I was in grammar school I’ve had bookcases. My father made them for me whenever I needed them. He made them with smaller shelves as my childhood books became paperback novels. He made them taller when I needed more shelves. So I have always imagined having a room dedicated to my library. A place where all the books I have read live and all the books I plan to read live. Every book I have ever bought I have planned on reading. One doesn’t buy a book without the intention of reading it.
The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library (“non profit organization that raises money and awareness for the library”) has an annual book sale to raise funds. It’s at Fort Mason and takes up the entire building. Tables and tables of books with boxes and boxes underneath the tables. Dozens and dozens of volunteers working, handing out maps, cleaning up the tables, restocking, and selling books. Hardbacks are $3 and paperbacks $2. On Sunday, the last day of the sale, all books are $1. Continue reading →