Friday, November 18, 2022

Quote du jour/Ross MacDonald

The walls of books around him, dense with the past, formed a kind of insulation against the present world and its disasters.
     Ross Macdonald

I came upon these words near the end of my book, The Diary of a Bookseller, and they rather stopped me in my reading. I am very struck by the truth of them when it comes to my own life. My books are indeed a kind of "insulation". Looking at a shelf, or taking out a particular book seems to soothe me when the world is a bit much. I so don't understand this new trend I've read about where people want all their music on a phone and their books on a Kindle. What must their homes, their "insulation" look like? And this other trend of simplicity and spareness is beyond me. I love my books, records, CDs, DVDs, pictures, photographs, cookbooks, recipe boxes, old worn furniture. They are the signs of me, of my life, of who I am. That "I am", period. Not that I necessarily have to have them to be a real person, but they are, for me, my heart and soul. 

Have you read anything by Ross Macdonald? I looked him up, and saw the words "hard boiled" and I'm not really one for that kind of book, but I could be convinced to give him a try.

Walking around the house...


  1. Well loved books! And I know you have passed on that love to your children and grandchildren. They are so lucky!

  2. How lovely! Just how a home shold be. Now that I live in a small house, I'm glad of my Kindle, though. Where would I find space for the 500 books I've got on it?

  3. I've had to part with boxes of books in our many moves but there are those that always go with me, some so worn that I've had to search out replacements--the ones I read over and over again as 'comfort' when I'm too tired to try something newer. Books, quilts, vintage bits and pieces, all have helped me to settle into our various homes. I've just finished reading the 'pioneer' series written by Kentucky author Janet Holt Giles. I read some of them previously but was intrigued that now I have familiarity with the places mentioned I can visualize the settings. The Giles homestead, a few miles from us, is now a museum open during summer months.

  4. Wow you do have books in neat places! Yes I like this idea of "insulation." I recall much time before kindles and iphones -- so I too have real books in bookshelves that abound. ha. May they keep dark things in the world at bay.

  5. That's a wonderful quote and I very much enjoyed walking through your home and seeing the books. That's a comfort to have books available to pick up and flip through as you decide which to read, or look upon one which gave you joy previosuly. We also love our CDs, vinyl albums and books. Can't imagine life without them.

  6. I enjoyed looking at the lovely books featured on your shelves. Thank you for the reminder that keeping beloved books close is a special type of comfort.

  7. I get almost as much pleasure at seeing other people's books, beautifully displayed, as my own! I also see quite a few I own too. I will admit I could not get into Miss Read - I did try the first one recently but found it too slow. I do like Music in the Hills a lot and hope you do too!

  8. How did I miss this wonderful post that so speaks my language? I don't understand this trend either, Nan, and love each of the things you list. I guess the best I can say of reading an ebook or listening to one is that at least that's better than not reading or hearing books at all. I was flabbergasted when one of our sons recently sold all his Hemmingway first edition books that he'd spent years collecting, reasoning that he didn't need to have them on shelves in order to read. Inside I was saying "but you do! and you need them just to see them in your rooms". Of course I didn't say that out loud!

    I love seeing your bookshelves around the house, the best furnishings a house can have! Recognized some titles as being on my own shelves. Loved seeing your collections of costumed dolls and teacups too. It would take me hours to tour your home if I visited because I would have to closely examine every single shelf!


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