“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Suess

“I cannot live without books.”  Thomas Jefferson

I like books. I really like books.

As a self-confessed bookaholic (my sister invited me to Celebrate Recovery at her church for my ‘book thing’) I have collected a few books: a whole study with floor to ceiling bulging shelves, overflowing shelves in my bedroom, guestroom, and piles in corners awaiting shelf space.

Reading. Books. Reading. More Books. Reading. Books.

Why do we read?

Books transport us to other places, to new worlds, to different parts of our world that develop and stretch our imagination muscles. When we get lost in a good story, we touch something outside ourselves that takes us away from our humdrum existence.

We read to know. To know more about others, about ourselves.

Books teach us how to: read, speak, learn, garden, travel, do maths, and understand a host of subjects in textbooks we muddle through in school…

…or how to cook, like these favorite cookbooks in my kitchen, that (in addition to piles & piles in the study) also make cooking exciting, offering opportunities to try new things.

Books educate, not just how to cook or for classes in school, but on a seemingly infinite number of subjects. The challenges and triumphs in our world: what’s working and what’s not. History. Biography. The real lives of real people who have made a difference, often pushing the limits of what’s possible. Then there are those who have done horrible things, we read about them hoping never again.

Books introduce us to concepts, ideas, people. To situations and people outside of our experience, yet reading about them develops empathy in our hearts. Or, we resonate in eureka moments: hey, it’s not just me, others have faced this, struggled with this, too.

Books can astound us with beauty: the art of poetry, of blissful skies crafted in our imaginations from story, of characters we come to know like friends.

Books can make us laugh, and laugh, and laugh. (My Farside & Calvin & Hobbes books toted overseas to conflict zones may be tattered, but they sure helped lighten the load.)

Books build our sense of wonder (Science Fiction, Fantasy), or take us where we don’t want to go (like Horror, of which I am not a fan, creepy, creepy.)

Books make us think, and puzzle, like a good mystery: a good who done it?

C.S. Lewis said, “I can’t imagine really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”  There are books to which we return, repeatedly, that become part of us. Books that touch our minds and hearts.

Then there are books of faith that zap our souls and draw us to Light and Love. Books precious with truths that jump off the page, indelibly written in our minds and hearts.

We turn to them, again & again.

Books that inspire, lead, guide us, and help us cope when hard times come knocking.

Why read?

To be inspired. To inspire ourselves and to inspire others.

We read for our hearts, minds and spirits.

We read for the joy of reading.

“A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”  Madeleine L’ Engle

So, here’s a confession from this bookaholic. My idea of a good time: a big cup of tea, a good book, comfy chair… and no plans for the evening.

grace, peace & books!

Virginia : )

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  1. Carol says:

    Books introduce us to concepts, ideas, people. To situations and people outside of our experience, yet reading about them develops empathy in our hearts. Or, we resonate in eureka moments: hey, it’s not just me, others have faced this, struggled with this, too.
    I’m a bookaholic too. People say I read “depressing” books. But I do it for the reason you mentioned above. I connect as a human being, seeing that we are all very much the same in our different skin, culture, religion, etc. I feel it is a sign of respect to learn about what other people have had to face – God knows and feels their pain; shouldn’t I? Are you on good reads? what is your handle? I’ll try to connect with you. I’m just Carol which is hard to find. The avatar is a little girl with a penguin.

    • Virginia says:

      Carol – what a great way seek to understand others through reading – “God knows & feels their pain, shouldn’t I?” Amen! I’m not on Good Reads, but will check it out (& look for your penguin.) Blessings & hugs!! 📚🌍😎🌏📚

  2. Michelle says:

    That’s my idea of a perfect evening, too! I’m addicted to books! I have a ton I need to go through. 😀

    • Virginia says:

      Michele, I enjoy getting lost in a good book, but often the challenge becomes turning the light off before midnight! Bookish blessings!🌟 📚💡📚🌟

  3. Carol-Jo says:

    I love books…beautiful thoughts….

  4. TMH says:

    Virginia, loved the L’Engle quote…but have I taught you nothing?! “A big cup of tea, good book, a comfy chair…and no plans…” No mention of scones? Muffins? Biscuits with White Lily flour? I’m losing hope as I type these words! But of course, I know how to ease my pain…400 degrees and flour, butter, sugar, buttermilk…a blank canvas.

    • Virginia says:

      🤣😂🤣 Tim! OF COURSE, treats add to the reading experience. The challenge (with an exciting book) is not eating a whole tray of treats (or big bag of crisps) in one sitting. Shock-a-roo, but last year I replaced White Lily flour with organic flour. Biscuits still tasty, though. (made cheese apple biscuits for breakfast!) 📚🍪☕️😎☕️📚

      • TMH says:

        Whoa…cheese apple biscuits

      • Virginia says:

        Very tasty – I’ve baked these cheese apple biscuits for over 30 years. My Mama’s recipe made with applesauce & sharp cheddar. yummmmmy! 🧀🍏🧀

      • TMH says:

        Applesauce…as part of the dough?

      • Virginia says:

        Use 1 cup applesauce (instead of buttermilk) – 3 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda – cut in 7ish tblsp margarine (vegan or whatever), add 1 heaping cup grated sharp cheddar (hand grated is best as melts better in biscuits) – then mix in applesauce (if too dry add a little more) Knead (very lightly, like once or 2x) Roll out & cut out (I use 2&1/2” glass top.) Bake on floured b.sheet 15ish mins @ 365F. Enjoy! 🧀🍏🧀🤗🧀😋🍏

  5. I’m with you on this, can never have too many books! Although my friends disagree every time I have to move! Love your bookcases too. Winter is a great time for reading, any time of day, with coffee for a morning read and tea in the evening, perfect. Thanks for sharing this, glad to know there are other people who love reading, none of my friends here like reading at all.

    • Virginia says:

      There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book (my idea of a good time.) So glad to find kindred spirits who enjoy books (& birdies, too) Steve! When it’s birizzy cold up there in Canada, you can warm up by reading books set in the steamy tropics (if that effort fails, drink more hot tea.) Book blessings! 💨📚☀️📚☀️☕️☀️📚

      • Yes, on these cold days, a nice chair, warm blanket, purring kitty on my lap and a good book! Great way to spend an evening. And of course tea! Enjoy your day!

      • Virginia says:

        A warm blankey is great idea. The Blanket Brigade (that would be moi) used to heat my parents’ throw blankets in the dryer 5 mins before their morning ‘recovery periods’ (pc for nap.) They so enjoyed the extra warmth! Stay warm up there in birizzy Canada! 💨☃️💨🔥💨📚💨

      • Hey now, that’s not a bad idea!🌞 extra warm! Thanks for reading!

  6. arlene says:

    All the reasons why we read and love books. They inspire us, they teach and also inform. They make our day complete.

    • Virginia says:

      Arlene, books have expanded my horizons since I was a little girl tasking Mama to take me to the library each week. I’d voraciously read selected book stacks, then pester her to return the next Saturday. Funny thing – all these years later I still enjoy weekly visits to the library. Blessings!! 📚🌷🌏📚😎📚🌍🌷📚

  7. I am a huge fan of books too-they are like old friends. You and I share the same kind of favorite evening too. love Michele

    • Virginia says:

      We are kindred spirits, Michele (yes, Anne of Green Gables was one of my fav series growing up – especially since Anne has Red Hair!) I have also read Tolkien’s LOTR & The Hobbit once a year (every year) since 8th grade. Reading hugs!🌟 📚🤗📚🌟

  8. Debbie says:

    As a writer, your post is music to my ears!! How we love hearing that somebody loves our books and, by extension, US for writing them!! Thank you, Virginia. I just might have to print this one off and keep it near my computer for those times when I question why I’m laboring so hard to write!!

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Debbie, for your perseverance writing books so the world of readers (& book lovers) may enjoy the fruits of your labors on the printed page (& via ebooks!) Your encouragement to this blogger means a great deal, too. Bookish cheers!📚🍹📚🧐📚🍹📚

  9. My Carmel says:

    I ❤ Books!!! They are great friends and mentors. Big hug Virginia!

    • Virginia says:

      Hugs back at ‘cha, Patty – methinks we share many mentoring favorites, especially Saint Teresa of Avila & Catherine Doherty who have influenced me tremendously. Blessings!!!!🌷✨📚✨🌷

  10. Psalm37 says:

    I have discovered borrowing library books and downloading them on my Kindle. I finally caved and got a Kindle when I went on a cruise to Alaska. My book-loving friends recommended it as a way to take several books in a compact form. I got hooked. Now I have shelf space, but will never get over my love of a having a good book to hold, write in, read and pass along to friends.

    • Virginia says:

      Gwen, I am a ‘both and’ reader (& collector) of books & ebooks. My Kindle has over 500 books (downloaded since Kindle started thanks to tech savvy Dwight) – easy to take on trips & use @ doc offices etc. The challenge – can’t pass along ebooks, so still like acquiring fav books to share with friends & family. Another ‘good time’ for me is finding treasures (esp out of print ones) in used book stores! One birthday Shere & I spent 4+ hours @ the one in Wards Corner. (Now there’s 2nd & Charles in N. News that’s even bigger.) Book blessings & hugs!🌷 📚🌟📚🧐📚🌟🌷

  11. mylanreads says:

    Lovely post 😍 sometimes it’s hard to explain to non booklovers why reading is so amazing when you have the option to watch TV, play video games, etc but you said it so well here! Will have to refer them to this 🙂

    • Virginia says:

      I’m certainly a ‘both and’ reader & viewer of movies & fav shows, but enjoy blocking out whole evenings (& rainy weekends) to delve into good books! (Having 500+ books on my kindle also makes waiting rooms & travel an opportunity to enjoy more books!) Cheers! 🎊📚🌟🧐🌟📚🎊

  12. neatnik2009 says:

    I had to downsize my library from 2400+ volumes to fewer than 800, for reasons of space and my growing love of surfaces without anything on them.. I placed many of my former books in the parish library.

    I am the parish librarian, fortunately.

  13. JOY journal says:

    Our dining room matches your study! Maybe I’ll have a paper book to share with you someday. For now, I’m working solely in e-books to keep costs down. 🙂 Thanks for reading JOY Journal!

    • Virginia says:

      I’m a ‘both and’ reader with piles of books @ home and on my Kindle. It’s just easier to share actual paper books (something I like to do, pass along a good book!) Will check out your e-offerings. Blessings! 🌷🌟📚🌟🌷

  14. Love your post! Currently reading Lord of the flies😍

  15. Rachel Writes says:

    This is just awesome. Thanks for relieving my guilt for my never-ending book-purchases!

    • Virginia says:

      Rachel – I try to cut down book acquisitions (weekly library visits help) but there are certain books that need a space on the shelf (or in my kindle) – to be enjoyed multiple times & shared with others. 📚🤪📚

  16. librini says:

    They tell me that I have too many books. No… I do not have enough shelves!

  17. I loved your post. You’re right reading really takes us somewhere else. It gives us that picture into not just another world but the way someone else thinks and feels. The only problem with books is finding somewhere to put them all. I keep saying I should stop buying more but I just can’t.

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you! Books are perspective builders that help us, as you said, see how others think & feel. I’m with you on where to put books – & I frequent our library every week & have hundreds of books on my kindle (that makes for lighter travels.) 📚🌟📚😜📚🌟

  18. 10thingsandtowoman says:

    A life without books is unbearable!

  19. “We read for the joy of reading”
    Soo true. Books and I have been inseparable since the time I learned to read. The romance started with Secret Sevens, and Famous Fives and still continues with Jeffrey Archer and Khaled Hosseini, to name a few. On the contrary, it has only gotten stronger with time. Books have always been my escape from reality and I would still choose a book over a blockbuster movie any day. High five partner!!

    • Virginia says:

      High fives back at ‘cha! I have books that I’ve read over & over again, and still read every year (like Tolkien’s LOTR that I’ve read once a year every year since 8th grade.) It’s always a grand thing, finding a new author, delving into a new series – somehow time whizzes by when you’re lost in a good book. 🌟📚😜📚🌟

  20. I would love to have a house filled with books.

    • Virginia says:

      The thing is not how many books you have, but how meaningful the books you have are to you. One shelf of well-read tattered books are better than a whole room of books you haven’t (& don’t intend) to read. Blessings!🌟 📚😜📚🌟

  21. Ishani Roy says:

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  22. Your shelves look amazing! I love the look of shelves that are full to the brim.

    What a beautiful post! I love every word of it.

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you for your encouraging words. The shelves bulge with books (& there are more bulging shelves in other rooms.) I often give books away, but somehow there’s always more to replace them. Cheers to book groupies! 🌟📚🌟📚🌟

  23. A Qaz says:

    Well said Virginia. Nothing like a good book. Knowledge propels us all forward.

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you! So true that knowledge empowers us in many ways to keep going. And books open up windows of understanding as we read of far away places & people they become close in our hearts. Cheers! 🍹🌟📚🌟🍹

  24. Very well written!! U have expressed all the emotions of a book lover. Btw I m a book reviewer n blogger . Do follow my page 😊

  25. I love that through reading we can experience many differing perspectives from this world. We get a new set of eyes to look through at the world around us – even if it’s just for an evening with a cup of tea by our side.

    • Virginia says:

      I like what you said that reading gives us a ‘new set of eyes’ to see the world around us. Selecting mysteries (a fav genre) I tend to pick books set in interesting places like those by Louise Penny, Ann Cleeves, Donna Leon, M.M Kaye, Tony Hillerman (& many others) – a chance to vicariously ‘visit’ Quebec, Northumbria, Shetland Is, Venice, Zanzibar (+++) & the Navajo Nation & learn about other cultures along the way. (Just finished Anne Hillerman’s new Navajo mystery ‘The Tale Teller’ – another great book & learning opportunity.) Read On!! 📚🌍📚🌍📚

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  27. I love this! It’s so beautiful and true! Books fill in the spaces we need to imagine. And I do have to admit my idea of a good time is very similar to yours!

  28. Your last sentence really resonates! The older I have become, the more I crave cuddling up with a book and hot tea after a busy week! 🙂

    • Virginia says:

      The older I get, the need to start a book earlier in the evening increases (vs. bedtime reading that extends a wee bit too late in the night!) Hence the treat making an evening with tea & a good book. Cheers! ☕️📚😎📚☕️

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