Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ravings of a Bibliophile

You know what makes me sad?
When people (kids and teens in particular) tell me they don't like to read.
It makes me want to hide in the back of a dark, dark closet and mutter curses against our current society. Of course, I'd take a flashlight in the closet with me so I could read in between tears and anguished cries.

I mean, how sad would it be to not like to read?
How tragic is it that some consider reading to be something one is forced to do for school? (I am related to some of these people too! *shudders*)

Books mean the world to me. I cannot remember a time when reading was not something I enjoyed. This past year I have started taking trips twice a week to the library. Like one diseased, I search online for interesting and new-to-me books to read. (Which reminds me, got a recommendation? Leave it in the comments!)
This winter, especially, books have been invaluable. Books were my drug. When life got too stressful, too sad, too lonely, I lost myself in an inky world. According to I have read 175 books so far in 2011 (only a handful of which are re-reads since I don't usually log my re-reads.) Yes, I read a disgusting amount these days. It wasn't always like this, believe me. But I figure I probably won't have this kind of time later on in life so I am taking advantage of it now.

If you are reading this and don't like to read, I'm sorry. Sorry for for my vehement opinions or sorry for your incomplete existence, you may wonder. Well, I'm... not going to answer that. :P

Some of my favourite book quotes I have collected in my readings:

"I closed my eyes, put my right hand on top of the book, and passed it lightly across the cover. It was cool and smooth like a stone from the bottom of the brook, and it stilled me. A whole other world is inside there, I thought to myself, and that's where I want to be."
-From Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan

"Literature is a source of pleasure, he said, it is one of the rare inexhaustible joys in life, but it's not only that. It must not be disassociated from reality. Everything is there. That is why I never use the word fiction. Every subtlety in life is material for a book. He insisted on the fact. Have you noticed, he'd say, that I'm talking about novels? Novels don't contain only exceptional situations, life or death choices, or major ordeals; there are also everyday difficulties, temptations, ordinary disappointments; and, in response, every human attitude, every type of behavior, from the finest to the most wretched. There are books where, as you read, you wonder: What would I have done? It's a question you have to ask yourself. Listen carefully: it is a way to learn to live. There are grown-ups who would say no, that literature is not life, that novels teach you nothing. They are wrong. Literature performs, instructs, it prepares you for life."
-from A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cossé

"As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

No ... eight days a week."
-From The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

"When you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a book, a real book."
-From The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley

"I feel, holding books, accommodating their weight and breathing their dust, an abiding love. I trust them, in a way that I can't trust my computer, though I couldn't do without it. Books are matter. My books matter. What would I have done through these years without the library and all its lovely books?"
-From The Girls by Lori Lansens

(A few of my very favourite books.)

{1st picture from the film "Les Parapluies de Cherbourg" and 2nd picture taken by me.}


  1. Wow...

    that's so much me...I love books too and I value them above lives......

  2. I can't imagine hating reading. What an empty life that would be... (Though I can understand why a student would; schoolwork can *really* take the fun out of it, and, to be completely honest, some of the books read in school aren't the best.)

    I'm a little envious of how much you read! I love to read, but I get attached to books and always read them slowly, so I don't end up reading very many, haha.

  3. I agree with you, I cannot understand why some people don't like reading. I simply love to read, to be swallowed by the imaginative worlds! And summer is the best time to catch up with my reading, I'm planning trips to the library too.

  4. Ahhhhhh, this is such a beautiful post! I completely agree with you - non-readers are people I will never understand. As a writer, they are, in fact, my enemies, haha!

    Speaking of which, I plowed through so many books over the course of the year, considering my grad work. I'm proud to say that I've read everything Snicket, as well as all but one book in the City of Ember series. So I've caught up with popular children's novels and found them all worthy of the prestige.

    But try as hard as I might, it's not as easy for e to read as it was. Why? Because I'm replacing those seconds with writing. It's strange what grad school can do to you - I've worked up a fever. I can't help but think that the years I have left are so few, and I need to write, write, write all the time. It's a fairly positive feeling, but one I'm not used to. So I try to squeeze in books when I can - and then, when I'm reading, I feel like a desert wanderer finally getting a sip of water, haha.

    Recommendations? I had so many. But if you haven't read anything by her yet, please run out RIGHT NOW and pick up "The Sugar Queen" by Sarah Addison Allen. It is one of my all-time favorite books now. And I ran out and bought two of her other novels, though I haven't gotten a chance to read them yet.

  5. BTW, you should check out "The Young Visitors" by Daisy Ashford. It's free on Gutenberg, and it's a very short piece. Ashfold wrote it when she was nine, I think, so her typos are left in... and you can see her childlike humor in it. You'll laugh so hard - but enjoy the delicateness of it. And please let me know what you think of it (and "The Sugar Queen" too).

  6. I can't wrap my mind around that attitude! I couldn't possibly survive without reading and books. How can anyone not read, let alone dislike it???

  7. I love books, too!... I love the feeling of them in my hands and most importantly, to be lost in a story or beautiful poem.

    I'm also starting to love ebooks. I recently bought a nook (it's supposed to arrive in the mail today). It is comfortable on the eyes just like a regular printed book and is also very compact. I can easily borrow from the library with it. Should be fun.

    Can't believe people who don't enjoy it. Reading is so relaxing, entertaining, and enjoyable. :)

  8. Nikita: You certainly do love books then! Though I do not value them above other's lives I certainly seem to enjoy the company of a good book to most people's. ;)

    Lumina: It would be mind-numbingly empty! I have read a lot of great books for school, but that could just be our curriculum. As I've gotten into high school, though, most of the books I've read could probably set me against literature. ;) Doing study guides definitely sucks the fun out of reading.

    Ah, but that's lovely as well. Savouring books is something I don't do very well - I'm a gulper. :)

    E: Yes, that is such a wonderful thing being "swallowed up in imaginative worlds".
    Summer is splendid for reading and I am hoping to read even more during it. :)

    CloudyKim: Haha! I never thought of it that way, non-readers really are writer's enemies. =D

    Well, I'm glad current children's books now have your current stamp of approval! :)

    I know what you mean. Except for me it can be the opposite. I find the weeks when I'm reading even more than usual, I don't write as much.

    I've read two books by Sarah Addison Allen and, while I liked them, they were overall too chick-litty for me. I have not read The Sugar Queen yet, though I've been wanting to. Sometimes I get feelings/premonitions about books and I feel that I might like it better than the other two. So, that, combined with your recommendation, has definitely catapulted it to the top of my to-read list!

    I just finished reading The Young Visiters and... wow!!! I wish I had been that amazing as a nine year old. I chortled my way through the story and greatly admired her humour and extensive vocabulary. Her range of adjectives were most commendable and her spelling errors adorable. Thanks so much for telling me about it. :)

    Ever: I know! I cannot wrap my mind around it either... So sad.

    Jade: I could not agree more (with the first and last part of your comment).

    I have not gotten much into ebooks yet, though the convenience of Nooks and Kindles &c. really appeals to me. I always thought their screens would be like computer screens but was pleasantly surprised when I saw my first one "in the flesh". It was very nice looking. I may have to invest in one someday. :)

  9. I had to come back to see what you thought :D

    I see what you mean about Allen. I'm reading "Garden Spells" right now - while it's very enjoyable (and I love the magical realism), it's not as good as "The Sugar Queen." Really. I also bought "The Girl Who Chased the Moon," and I have a vibe that I'll like it better than "Garden Spells" - but we'll see. (So I totally understand the vibe thing, haha).

    Yayyyy! I'm so glad you liked "The Young Visitors." I snagged a couple of vocab words that I know I want to use in some of my writing - that girl's vocab and characterization were completely impressive :) Didn't you love the proposal chapter? "You are my heathen god!" I couldn't stop laughing :D

  10. I do that too. =D

    The magical realism in Garden Spells was great! I loved the woman who went around giving objects to people that they would need soon. :)
    Guess what. All copies of The Sugar Queen are checked out at my and the surrounding libraries. Why am I not surprised? :P

    Hahaha, yes! The proposal was the best. XD

  11. Oh, I agree completely. I don't understand how people don't like to read. To me, it's like saying they don't like to breathe. I hope you're well, darling. Also, I tried to go on "Lost Things", Jhordyn's blog, but it's no where to be found. Did she leave? Oh, I feel like I've missed so much. I wonder if I'll ever be able to catch up. ♥ and, oh, you must watch Downton Abbey! I'm sure you'd love it. xxxx

  12. I like that! It is for us like saying I don't like to breath!
    Oh yes, Jhordyn is still around she just changed her blog URL and title. :) I'll leave the new one in a comment on your blog to make sure you see it.
    I am doing well, thank you! I hope you are too. I'm glad you're back around again. ♥

  13. Oh, I couldn't agree with you more dearest. Books are my salvation, my old keys to unlock the doors to other worlds. I do wish I had more time for it lately, I will more once the summer is here. The grass is too inviting and the warming sun too convincing to say no to. I tend to buy my books, I love having them all around me, all the time. Why, I am just in the process of getting my father to put up a new shelf for me. Lovely post!

    xx and hugs


  14. "She had been right. The world was a terrible place, cruel, pitiless, dark as a bad dream. Not a good place to live in. Only in books could you find pity, comfort, happiness - and love. Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn't ask anything in return, they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly." (from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke)

    There was also another quote from Inkheart that I have copied out in one of my notebooks, but I'm not sure which one and finding it could take me forever. It was something about letting the words come alive and tasting them on your tongue.

    The quote by Laurence Cossé is simply astounding and so very true. I love it. That's how I want my novel to be. I really hope hope hope I can manage it. x

  15. As we seem to have much in common... maybe you would like "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. It is a wondrous book, I promise! xx

  16. Jhordyn Ashley: New shelves are always wonderful. Especially ones built by fathers! I like to buy books too (when I have the money) and I've just about run out of room on my shelves. So many books, so little space! :)

    Thea: Oh, yes! That quote is marvelous, thank you for sharing it. I just knew there were probably a multitude of great quotes from Inkheart but I didn't have them on hand.

    Goodness, yes. I hope I can achieve that someday too. Best wishes with that, dear. <3

    Hannah: I think I've vaguely heard of that book but have yet to read it. I will definitely check that out, thank you. :)

  17. Hi again, Melee, I thought I'd let you know that I'm taking back what I said about ebook readers, lol. I'm in the process of trying to return mine now as it didn't suit my needs. There's something really charming about printed books that I believe is lost in the digital format. Of course, everyone is different...just thought I'd write again. :)

  18. Haha, thanks for letting me know, Jade. I totally understand that - I could never give up physical books either. I've decided the only reason I'd get an ebook reader is for more convenient reading of those books I can only find online (on Project Gutenberg &c.).
    At least you gave it a try, though! :)

  19. When Harry Potter came, I began liking books. Then there's Nicholas Sparks. I fell in love with reading. Although right now, it's not novels that's in my hands but nursing books. :'(

    I love this post, which reminds me of the smell of old books in the Library. Thank you, dear, for this. I love you and you know that <3

  20. I can't even imagine being a misobiblist. (Although I love the word, it sounds hilarious. And yes I made it up, I have no idea if it's real or not.)What a bleak and empty existence. All those quotes are wonderful, too. I like the first one because I learn so much from novels, probably too much. No doubt in a crisis someday I'll think of something similar that happened in novel and then I'll die because of it. Ah well.
    Here's a quote I love: "When I'm really into a novel, I'm seeing the world differently during that time--not just for the hour or so during the day that I get to read. I'm actually walking around in a bit of a haze, spellbound by the book and looking at everything through a different prism." - Colin Firth. I know the feeling so well.

  21. haze: I think that must be the problem with kids who don't like to read: they're reading the wrong books! One should try to find books one does like instead of dismissing them as a whole. :) Awww, hang in there!

    That's one of my favourite smells. I love you too (and I hope you know that as well)! <3

    Jenica: Hahaha, I love your made-up words - they're the best. :) I'm glad you like the quotes. Hopefully that won't happen! I sometimes have similar apprehensions, hehe.

    Oooh, I love that quote! Thanks for sharing! Colin Firth rocks.

  22. When I was a teenager, I did not like to read.
    My teachers told me I was stupid and a I believed them wholeheartedly.
    The books I was able to read were aimed at those much younger than myself so I was ridiculed for such childish habits and vowed not to be stupid any more.
    I read the newspaper every week, a valiant task for a dyslexic (though I did not know it yet), I learned and learned, I force fed myself words. Words of joy, words of sorrow, words that explained what I could not comprehend.
    Now I feel a thirst for words that cannot be quenched, more and more must I read, books give way to books, give way to words of my own.
    The girl that was once lost for words is now overflowing with them.
    "Look at me now!" I taunt, "you told me I was stupid and I proved you wrong, you who suffocated my pleading soul look at what it can do now".
    I imagine them looking, I hope they are in awe, really I see them laughing.


  23. Oh, Heather - what an awesome story! Thank you for telling me.
    That is so sad that those teachers whose job it was to help dismissed you, and gave up on you. The fact you did not give up shows such strength and intelligence; you are such an incredible girl.
    No, I cannot believe they'd laugh at you. They would surely hang their heads in shame at their own stupidity.


  24. I can't agree with you more though I can't come close to reading 175 books this or any year I can remember. :)

    Love those quotes especially the first one. That's how book covers feel, cool and smooth and they still me with thoughts about their worlds inside.

  25. Hehe, I've never even read this many books in one year before, either. :)

    I'm glad you like the quotes. I love the first one too, there's something so soothing about running one's hand over a book cover!


Silhouettes of a secret. A story told over a cuppa. Or perhaps just sitting on that stone bench, basking in the moonlight... and not saying anything at all.

("I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks." -Shakespeare, Twelfth Night)