Books you own and the story they tell

There are only a few things left to do in our big construction project! Mr. Max is doing built-in shelves around the fireplace and we have to change out a ceiling fan and put moldings back on the existing bookshelves… oh, and get the room back together!

So this morning I’ve been going through all my books. You might remember, this is how our bookshelves looked before we started the den project..

Going through all of these books is a big job in and of itself and the fact that I’m opening every one of them and remembering when I bought it, when I read it or who gave it to me, may mean I’ll never finish this part of my project. It’s been a morning full of nostalgia.

A lot of my old books are classics. The Husband tracked most of them down and surprised me on various occasions. Each one makes me smile.

I also inherited my Gramma’s books. She loved her books and when she left this world I couldn’t bare to see them thrown out or given away.

You know, you can tell a lot about a person by the books they leave behind…

Gramma was passionate about poetry…

When I was in the first grade she taught me to read using a book of poems as my primer.

Gramma loved people’s stories, she had lots of memoirs about Godly women like Edith Shaffer, Ruth Bell Graham, and Amiee Simple McPherson.

And my Gramma loved her presidents and their wives…

Especially President Kennedy.

These are things Gramma and I never talked about…but today,  I’m looking through old yellow paged  volumes and discovering more about that woman who so impacted my life.

This made me wonder…when I’m gone, if anyone looks through my books,what will they find out about me?

For starters…it’ll be obvious how much I love the writings of Somerset Maugham and Oscar Wilde…

They’ll notice that I, like my Gramma, love to read a person’s story…

Of the several biographies nestled on my shelves, it’s interesting that each one of them is about famous writers.

Maybe most of my heroes are authors.

Of course I have 20 or so decorating books and a bazillion cookbooks and loads of books about following Jesus. And thanks to Kindle and Audible most of my recreational reading takes up no space on my bookshelves!

How about you, do you love books? What would your loved ones learn about you if they were to one day look back through your library?


ps…I want to show you my favorite new addition to our den, it’s the coffee table! Old rustic wood…ahhhh, I love it!

~Have a nostalgic day my friends~


  1. says

    Dear Gramma. Look what an influence she made on your life. And now so many others.

    I’d love to spend a day thumbing through all your books–hardbacks too!! I’m impressed. My books are some of my very best friends. I write all over them–hearts and smiley faces. And who could really have enough book shelves? :-)

    There’s nothing more thrilling than to find an author you love and read every word he/she wrote. Love the sentence “Maybe most of my authors are heroes.” xoxo xoxo xoxo

  2. says

    You have a wonderful collection, & I love that you’ve removed the jackets. The bare books are so much more charming and worn. The faded and frayed covers show they’ve been used & loved. I don’t have a tremendous or even slightly large library, because most books are from the public library. The ones I do read would show a very eclectic collection.

  3. says

    Well, it seems I love to BUY books. I have had a goal for a long time to just read all the books I have bought over the years. I do NOT read enough….maybe you are inspiring to pick up one today, or maybe finish the book I started a month ago…blessings and memories to you! Enjoy.

  4. says

    Your books are so beautiful. I see why you write so beautifully~your love for the written word. I buy books and then don’t read them…what does this say about me? =P =D

  5. says

    I love this post so, so much, Robin! We share so many of the same book loves! I am passionate about Oscar Wilde, EM Forester, Hemingway, Eliot (all poetry, really), and so many others you show here. My favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird. Books are the very center of our home life. A well-equipped kitchen and well-stocked bookshelves make a house a home for me. I’ve been wanting to do a post about some of my favorite books for a while now, and you’ve inspired me to finally do it very soon! Oh, and I love what you said about your grandmother. I inherited several of my grandmother’s books, too, and I treasure them. xoxo Gigi

  6. says

    I can almost smell the classic books- the ink and time-seasoned paper and the glue and oh, its all heavenly smells to me. I could spend days amongst your bookshelves and love every second of it. The bookshelves we had started to collapse from the weight of all my books! We had to take them out and they are all stacked in the office and I still don’t know what I will do with them all…

    Oh I can’t wait to see the finished rooms! I am so excited for you I can barely stand it!! Sending love!

  7. says

    I should go back and reread the classics that I read in grade school and high school. These days I read mostly fiction. Some non fiction too. I don’t have ANY “good” books that have been passed down. XO, Pinky

  8. says

    so beautifully presented, dear robin … : )
    like others, i can just feel and smell your treasure of books
    and felt your feelings as you picked up and held the memories in your hands … xo
    i have often thought that yes, one would have insight to my inner me by my collection of books … some i haven’t read ~ i just had this inexplicable desire to have and hold them … but have recently revisited some of them … like good friends who are always there for the ‘somedays’. when i was first on my own, i loved to buy art books at sidewalk sales ~ just to smooth my hand over the beautiful prints. my husband’s grandfather, who left us four years ago this month could still recite perfectly robert service’s ‘the creation of sam mcgee’ (and so many more) at age 97. we are so fortunate to have his 1916 edition of ‘poems of tennyson’. oh, to touch those pages!
    i am just reading ‘the paris wife’ and am excited to follow up with hemmingway’s works … i am certainly not knowledgeable about the great literary masters but as i age, i appreciate more and more their gifts they left us.
    thanks for this awesome post … : )

  9. Meghann says

    My own Granny’s collection consisted of all those saucy love novels lol. I always saw her with them. One year, about 15 years ago, she picked up her crochet needle and crocheted hundreds of afghans for various people. I have the very last one she was able to make before she was unable to feel her hands and eventually she passed. Now, even though she doesn’t have a lot of books that ‘speak’ about her, her afghans certainly do. The various colors, the fact that she would always guess which colors would match my girls personalities and it always fit them perfectly. She passed two days before I had my son and she was buried when I had him. Bittersweet, that day was. I could never let go of the afghans she made us, no sir’ee! Even if they take up absurd amounts of space in my linen closet. I love seeing them and love smelling them.

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