Some view our family's possession of an extensive collection of books to be, well if they are politely honest, just a bit "over the top,"or, even slightly eccentric. I thought it would be amusing to you, and comforting to me, to let you read what some more notable people than me (by far) have said about their attachment to their books.
Doubtless you are acquainted with C. S. Lewis. Here, for example, are his sentiments on the importance of surrounding children with books:
"I am the product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences, attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns, the noise of wind under the tiles, and of endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study and books in the drawing room; there were books in the cloak room, books two-deep in the great bookcase on the landing, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents' interests, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not - and I discovered them all and it changed who I was."His books, I might add, have changed who I am as well from the moment I too opened the door of the wardrobe into Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia) to knocking on the doors in the foyer of Christianity (Mere Christianity). So have the books of Oswald Chambers, most notably his daily devotional My Utmost for His Highest, which nourished me for at least a dozen years of my early adult life. Here's what that forthright Scotsman said about his books:
"My books! I can't tell you what they are to me - silent, wealthy, loyal lovers. I do thank God for my books with every fiber of my being. I see them all now, just at my elbow: Plato and Wordsworth, Myers, Bradley, Halliburton, St. Augustine, Browning, Tennyson and all the others - my friends, my tools, my books."Not to pile on too much, but of great support to me at moments when purchasing a book while I possibly needed new shoes:
"When I get a little money I buy books, and if there is any left, then I buy food and clothes." (Erasmus)It looks like we "eccentric" book lovers are in good company.
For the joy of reading,
If you too are an "eccentric" book lover, perhaps you'd enjoy these posts on starting a library:
Living With Living Books, Part 1
Living With Living Books, Part 2
Living With Living Books, Part 3