I have five bookcases in my home--all full. A cupboard in my basement stuffed full of old books. I don't even know what is in the attic but I know there are some boxes of books. This is after giving away a few boxes of books to other family members. As you can now tell I come from a long line of ferocious readers. These come mostly from my father's side but also quite a few from my mother's side (who were not the type to keep things like the pack rats on my Dad's side).
What I love about my collection is the books cover a wide range of topics spanning 6 generations of owners. I have a whole shelf plus a drawer in an old dresser devoted to family bibles. One of my favorites is an old large leather covered Bible that has the Bird family births and deaths recorded back to the late 1700's. Many of the older books in my collection also have a religious topic.
|Old Bird Family Bible|
|Alonzo Doty's Civil War Soldier's Handbook|
|Boy Scout Handbook circa 1920's|
This love of reading was definitely passed down through the generations. Both my parents loved to read. My Mom LOVED mysteries. I had never really knew her Mom to be a reader (other than reading books to me) but I have found many books with her name so apparently she did.
I also loved reading as a child and still do. I have saved every childhood book I ever had. They hold precious memories of my grandmother reading the books to me. In turn I read those same books to my children. My daughter can zip through a book in no time flat. She not only loves to read, she loves to write fiction also. Her favorite gift to receive is a book or gift card to the bookstore. So that tradition has survived also. It has remained a tradition in our family for my daughter to aloud "The Night Before Christmas" every Christmas Eve. I don't know if my ancestors did this but she reads from this 1902 book passed down from my Father's family every Christmas Eve.
I have read a few of the books that belonged to my ancestors. But my favorite thing to do with my old books is just hold them. May sound strange but I love holding a book that my great, great, grandparents also held at one time. I also love that old musty smell of old books. As I have been going through these books in my spring cleaning I have been known to just stand there and sniff them. Something my kids think is just plain weird but I can't help myself.
This is why I personally am not a fan of electronic books. Nothing wrong with owning a Kindle but it is just not for me. Even for new books. I need to turn actually paper pages and hold the book in my hands. Surprisingly my daughter feels the same. For someone who wants every new electronic device that comes out she has no interest in a Kindle. Like me she needs the "real" book in her hands.
So, how is my spring cleaning progressing? Well we have donated some books and also sold a few. I decided I do not need 20 old college textbooks or mysteries, that I can keep a select few. But I cannot part with my oldest books that belonged to my ancestors. I feel they are a connection to my past. So I have gotten rid of some other (newer) stuff in that basement cupboard to make room for the books!
Happy Summer Reading!