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Ostomy Memories on the Shelf


YESTERDAY, FINISHING A BOOK, it was time to find its proper place on the shelf. It's like a library in miniature. Non-fiction here, bios, memoirs & autobios there, fiction separated by country. The just completed book has to be properly placed and, once settled in, becomes a part of the fabric of the good writing that has funneled through my head over the years, like memories that I can pull off the shelf whenever I wish and re-live them, or at least that part of them that I have marked in my first reading so that I can readily find it when the time comes to re-visit it. A good book is like a good friend. It is there for you when you need it, it fulfills an important place in your life. Not incidentally, when you have them all together, shelf upon shelf, lining the wall, it is like your past intellectual life arrayed before you, standing post, a protection from doubt and uncertainty because the answers are all there, in print, attested to by time and the imprimatur of history's admiration. The individual authors may be dead and gone, but they have left a precious gift behind for you to treasure. As long as they are on the shelf, they continue to live.

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I love to read books but once read I have no bookcase/ shelf to stack them. So I thought it might be better if I bought a kindle instead that way I can just download what I want to read when I want. I have got to say it's not quite the same now I miss the printed version for you never know what you might find in the book. I had a book delivered with a flower pressed between the pages and a note on the first page saying enjoy the read my love. XX

Reply to Caz67

I tried Kindle but I didn't like it.  I need the printed version, a real, actual BOOK in my hands, turning the pages, writing in the margins, underlining, re-reading and, ultimately, seeing it on the shelf.


Hello HenryM. 

I do agree that a good book is well worth placing on a shelf to admire. My wife has a small library of books, but I am beginning to think they are there to remind her of what she has read, so that she doesn't buy the same book twice.

As a writer, I have less time to read other people's books than I might like. However, I am fortunate that my wife also acts as a pre-reader, and tells me which books she thinks I would enjoy. This saves me endless time making frustrating mistakes in my choices. 

I am also not a fan of kindle, as I spend far too much time on the computer and it makes my head start to ache after a while. My own growing  collection of books of rhymes, allows me to dip into them when a subject comes up that I believe I have contemplated previously. This saves no-end of time making up new verses for old subjects.  I do like the idea that there are numerous 'holding libraries' scattered around the UK, where anyone can gain access to anything that has ever been published. I have been and seen for myself how this system works and have been greatly impressed.  Of course, I would rather go to the cleaner places of Cambridge or Oxford than I would to the British Library in (air polluted)London, but that's a story for a different post. 

Best wishes


Reply to HenryM

Like books and kindle, I miss real newspapers. I used to enjoy the whole ritual of sitting down with my morning coffee to read the paper. It was something I looked forward to...the sound of the paper crinkling when I turned the page, struggling to get the pages turned backward, the smell of the ink, being careful not to touch certain things when I had ink on my fingers, reading want ads just for fun. One of life's little pleasures that's almost a thing of the past...

Reply to Caz67

That is a little Gem Caz  and so true .  I've moved so much  had to get rid of piles every time . I brought some special ones to my house in Mayo , have some space there . 


Reply to Caz67

That is a little Gem Caz  and so true .  I've moved so much  had to get rid of piles every time . I brought some special ones to my house in Mayo , have some space there . 


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