Friday, January 16, 2009
You are what you eat.
I always figure that if you are what you eat (consume) you must also be what you read. When I was in high school we had a man who was the head of the English department who proudly wore a pin that read "I read banned books". He also ensured that the students had some of those books in the curriculum including such books as Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird. Another teacher taught world literature including works by Chinua Achebe and Graham Greene and utopian literature including Animal Farm. They really worked to expand what you thought about what you read as well - to think more critically.
Today, my DW, who is a teacher and I both find that we have an extensive library. When we first met, I didn't exactly realize the extent. She had three large bookshelves in her apartment and more books in her classroom. When we moved into our first home, I made 4 medium-sized bookcases that were full immediately upon installation, but with more boxes of books in our basement. We ultimately sold the three large bookshelves. (I never hear the end of this from her...)
At the moment, I'm in the process of building a large bookshelf assembly for the living room. It's about 9' wide and 7' tall. I'm sure that when this is done, it will be full as well. The pictures above show some of the bookshelves in our house and a bit about what I am. There are cookbooks, how-to gardening books, travel books, home design and home improvement books, woodworking, boatbuilding and boat handling books. Still, we do have a "balanced diet" with some "junk food" - DW is fond of picking up paperback novels in a book exchange at our local transfer station. (Ok, "dump")
I suppose that there are exceptions to the "you are what you read" part. While I have books about various methods of canoe and kayak building, I'm also expanding my selection into sailing books and historical books about sailing canoes. I'm not a sailor yet, but perhaps I will eventually become one, someday.