I am a reader. Big time. It is in my blood.
Tonight, I described it to my friend Debbie, as such- I need books nearly the same way I need air.
Ever since I was young, I simply devoured books. On the rare occasion that I'm in a home without books, I feel lost. Books are just an important part of who I am.
I am always looking for reading material. If there's "nothing" to read, I will read the writing on boxes of cereal. When I pack to go away, I make sure to have a book with me, because what if the place that I'm going has no books? That's almost as bad as having no food I can eat!
But only slightly.
I was a big fan of the library from when I was very young. The librarians at our local library branch and I were on a first name basis, friends even. As a teenager, I even volunteered at the library, shelving books in the Young Adult section.
I need books.
And I read books.
But in English.
The library system locally is nothing like the library system I grew up with. No interlibrary loans. No reserving books. Just pay for a yearly membership, browse, and take out a limited number of books that you find on the shelf that appeal to you. (You're allowed only a set amount per family per week. And a rather small amount at that.)
And of course, the books are nearly all in the local language. A few books in English, but not many.
For someone like myself who devours books, I really miss the libraries we had growing up.
Especially since books locally cost a fortune!
When I first came here, I would shop at the second hand book store. Which was hit and miss. But even those shopping trips ended up being pretty pricy, and then my house would fill up with these books that I didn't want anymore- other than a few rare books/authors, I read books once, then have no interest in rereading, so I don't want my shelves being filled up with these books that won't be read again.
So the bookstores buy back books, but for a fraction of the price that they sold it to you for. It ends up being like the "service" of a library, but paying a lot for that "service".
Which is why the fact that we have local book swaps is pretty awesome for me.
Everyone brings all the books they want to get rid of.
Everyone takes the books they want.
We pay a set fee (like $3) which goes to charity, and to be fair to everyone, you only take as many books as you brought.
So it ends up being like a library service, because I know that the books I take don't need to be stuck on my shelves forever or end up in the trash- I can simply take them back to the next swap, and then take some more books then. And since I am not paying for each individual book, I don't mind taking a chance on some books, and picking up some books that I might not have otherwise- because I may just like it after all- and if not- I'll bring it back to the next swap.
So here's the loot I got at tonight's swap- most of it books I haven't read yet, but one- Angels and Demons, I read and really liked, so I want to have it to keep for the future (Dan Brown's books generally get kept around here, as do Harry Potter and Girl with Dragon Tattoo series, among others...) so I got it despite it not being new to me.
If you'll notice from the selection- I prefer non chic lit- I like fast paced stories that suck me into the action, whether Dan Brown, Grisham, Clancy, etc.... I literally get so sucked in to that kind of book that I can easily finish one of those in one day, and then look to start another one.
And I also got a bunch of kids' books, most of which I'd never heard of before, but figured why not... But one of them I know my daughter Anneliese will love- Angelina Ballerina!
Anneliese's favorite things in the whole wide world are princesses, ballerinas, and pink, so a book about a ballerina wearing pink? That will make her light up like the sun...
I can't wait to show her these books.
And to devour my books as well.
I think I'll start with the Dan Brown.
Are you a reader? What types of books do you like to read? Do you get lost in books, needing to surface for air, or are you someone who never gets too deeply into the books?
How do you generally get your books? Do you buy them, borrow them, etc?
Do you have a lot of bookshelves in your home?
Am I the only one who doesn't feel comfortable in a home without bookshelves?
What is your favorite type of book and who is your favorite author?