I Wish I'd Kept The Books

I now own a lot less stuff. Even in my small, new living space there are empty drawers and unfilled shelves. I am proud of how effectively I down-sized. There is very little that I miss or regret but, if I had to do it all over again, I would not get rid of nearly so many books. I miss them, the physical presence of them, and the warmth they give a room. I miss standing at the bookshelf, side by side with a friend, talking about books, being able to pull one from the shelf and say, "You will love this! Please take it." I miss the piles on the bedside table and the baskets on the floor. I miss looking at Catullus and remembering that for one short month of my life I could read him— in Latin. Bless you, Miss Quigley! I miss the collections, the side by side sets of authors with whom I fell passionately in love. 

If I am honest, I must confess that I miss what they say about me to guests in my home ... that I am a reader, that we are a family of readers. 

I miss reading titles and looking at bindings and remembering the who's and when's and how's I first met a particular book. I miss knowing that life-changing words are just the other side of a cover, that comfort, and inspiration, and challenge, and brilliance live in my home with me. 

I am grateful, so grateful, for libraries and bookstores and the ease of travelling and reading an iPad. 

But I miss my books.