I was cleaning off the bookshelf on my side of the bed today. I pulled off all the beloved favorites that I know I'm not going to read for a while, though some of the recently reads had to stay and remind me of the greatness they hold within. Then I used the extra space to put the new books waiting to be read and the others to reread again soon properly on the shelf, rather than piled on the shelves in front of or on top of the others. It's great looking at a fresh bookshelf with a whole lot of potential for greatness. New faces I don't know yet, old friends I keep going back to. I feel like I'm allowing myself to become more by putting off some of the old for a while.
Do your books talk to you? All I have to do is look at some of them and I get the same feeling I did when I finished them and just held the closed book for a while, soaking it all in.
Here are a few fun book quotes from something I copied years ago that I found while taking the deshelved books to my boxes downstairs:
"When I am reading a book, whether wise or silly, it seems to me to be alive and talking to me." --Jonathan Swift
"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers." --Charles W. Eliot
"A room without books is like a body without a soul." --Cicero
"You are the same today as you will be five years from now except for two things...the people you meet and the books you read." --Charles E. Jones
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." --Francis Bacon
One I read 8/10/08: “But he who truly loves books loves all books alike, and not only this, but it grieves him that all other men do not share with him this noble passion. Verily, this is the most unselfish of loves!” -- Eugene Field in Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac
One I read 8/17/08: “Books are chocolate for the soul. They don’t make one fat. One need not brush one’s teeth after reading. They are quiet. One can bring them anywhere–no passport required. Books have only one downfall: even the fattest book has a last page, and then one needs a new one again.” --Antonie Schneider
Added 11/29/08: "If time is precious, no book that will not improve by repeated reading deserves to be read at all." --Thomas Carlyle
Added 01/02/09: "Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it." --P.J. O'Rourke
Added 05/11/09: "You must get into the habit of looking intensely at words, and assuring yourself of their meaning, syllable by syllable–nay, letter by letter… you might read all the books in the British Museum (if you could live long enough) and remain an utterly “illiterate,” uneducated person; but if you read ten pages of a good book, letter by letter, — that is to say, with real accuracy– you are for evermore in some measure an educated person." ~John Ruskin
"The books that help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty." ~Theodore Parker
"My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out." ~Dylan Thomas