Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Kind of Christmas Tree

I was surfing through Facebook today and ran across a picture of a true book lover's Christmas tree. The picture was on Gale Chapter's facebook page. This is a Christmas tree dear to my heart.

Now I don't know about the rest of you authors out there, but I'm an avid reader of books. It is past the addiction stage and almost to the obsessive compulsive stage.

I did a rough count of titles when I was changing around my house...my kitchen became my living room, my living room became my kitchen, my office moved from the back of the house to one of the front bedrooms. My library, yes I actually have one in my home and consolidated most of it. Are you drooling yet? Just a wee bit jealous?

Then you are my kind of people. Anyhow I digress. I counted over 5,000 books. They are about fifty-fifty between nonfiction and fiction. Some were bought, some were given to me, and others just migrated into my library...I'm not sure where they came from originally, but they appeared in the stacks. Some are cherished mementos of my childhood now cherished in turn by the grandchildren. Others were given to me by other authors in payment for editing services. But my most cherished collection is my author signed, first edition shelves. These are people who cared enough to inscribe the books they sent or I bought with personal messages to me. Not the standard "Best Wishes" but a personal note a small piece of them. Included on this shelf is the first Bible my mother bought for me...no not a first edition, but a cherished one.

I roughly did a count on the books in the picture...subtracting 1 book from each of the 29 layers with a base of a minimum of 25 books assuming the inside is hollow..roughly 700 books to make this tree. I could make SEVEN of these for my home with what I have in my library alone. But like most people I don't have all my books in my library...some are shelved in my living room, bedrooms, a whole collection of cookbooks in my kitchen, my office has how-to's on writing, general reference books and assorted others including my own titles...figure another whole tree from the outliers.

Oh my goodness, don't you ever throw anything away? Yes, I actually donate several hundred a year to nursing homes and assorted other places where the people value books.

I bought a Kindle a couple of months ago. Now with any technology things change over time. I mean computers are obsolete by the time you buy them it is changing so fast. I've got files still on floppy 5.25 disks from my first computer. Heck I even still have a case of programming punch cards!While I've grown quite a different type of library on my Kindle over the past few months...nothing beats my hardbound physical book collection. The written word carries on for centuries...look at the Dead Sea Scrolls, the books of the Bible just to name a few. How many pixels will be available next year when another new fangled book reading device dawns?

Keep in mind I e-publish too like most indie authors. I'm not knocking the e-publishing world or the readers. But for me, there is something special about holding a book in your hands, caressing the cover, turning the pages, the smell of leather (yes, some of my books are actually bound in leather), the musty smell of aging paper that sounds with crinkles as you finger each page...I gotta have it.

Yes, I'm an addict. I'm addicted to the written word. Speak up if you are an addict too.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

4 comments:

S.P. Bowers said...

I'm an addict too! I love the tree. I was actually going to link to it tomorrow but you beat me. :)

J.L. Murphey said...

LOL Sara! :oP

Zan Marie said...

Oh, my! That's a tree!!! And, yes, I have a library, too. My father-in-law was shocked by the number of books I owned when we moved in and that was 30 years ago. LOL!

J.L. Murphey said...

Zan Marie, that is the only thing I majorly HATE about moving...the boxes and boxes of books. Each time I moved I threatened to throw them all out, but then I flipped through the pages and then packed them in boxes.