Dept. of “Readers Live Many Lives”

stack of open books

“Accumulating circulations around the sun doesn’t make you wise. Experience and reflection does. Nothing can beat the real thing, but what is Literature, if not experience and reflection, set down in language?”

Thus writes Alice Whaley, a (merely) 21-year old writer – and reader – in a short, charming essay published earlier this month in the Britain-based periodical The Oldie.

Whaley’s reflections reminded me of what S.I. Hiyakawa wrote about the difference between readers and non-readers:

“It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.”

Read the rest of Whaley’s essay here.

Found via Patrick Kurp’s blog Anecdotal Evidence


Readerly Reflection du Jour

woman reading in front of bookshelf

“‘ A real page-turner,’ people say of certain novels or biographies. I prefer to read books that are page-stoppers, that cause me to stop and contemplate a striking idea, an elegant phrase, an admirably constructed sentence.” – Joseph Epstein, from his November 2018 essay entitled “The Bookish Life,” at First Things

Found via Patrick Kurp’s blog Anecdotal Evidence

Coping with One’s Pile of Unread Books

Every booklover’s nightmare: finding ourselves finishing a book with no clue about what we’re going to read next!

Or is this the booklover’s worst predicament: finding one’s to-be-read pile has grown to overwhelming proportions?

Read one reader’s (and book-related Tweeter’s) account of how her unread pile of books gradually grew from less than half a dozen to…approximately 350 items.

Found via BookRiot’s Facebook page


Building Little Free Libraries: The Book


The Empress of Dirt recently joined the chorus of fans for building in your yard one of those “Little Free Libraries” that are so popular among home-owning booklovers.

Take a look at these photos of Little Free Libraries you might consider adding to your own yard. If you want to see more examples, there are dozens more on Pinterest.

Instructions for building a Little Free Library are also available at the LFL website.

If you are one of the 75,000 people in the world who’s already built a LFL, feel free to email us a photo of it and we’ll post it for the enjoyment/enlightenment of other would-be bookloving carpenters.

Found via the Empress of Dirt’s Facebook page

On Getting Rid of (Certain) Books


“It is not merely absurd to keep rubbish merely because it is printed: it is positively a public duty to destroy it. Destruction not merely makes more room for new books and saves one’s heirs the trouble of sorting out the rubbish or storing it: it may also prevent posterity from making a fool of itself. …But it is not always easy to destroy books….”

Indeed: it is not always easy.

To fortify your resolve, read this digitized essay written at the beginning of the 1900s by Sir John Collings Squire, literary editor of The New Statesman and The London Mercury (and included in Selected Modern English Essays (Oxford University Press, 1927).

Found via booklover Patrick Kurp’s most excellent blog Anecdotal Evidence