My husband and I own hundreds of books. We started collecting them in high school, and we just keep adding more. We find it extremely difficult to weed any of them out. Because, you know, that hardcover Chaucer book from university is going to come in handy one day. Well, it cost me (my parents actually) $75.80. So, it's staying.
Having kids around isn't generally conducive to reading. That's my excuse anyway. I'm sure watching the entire eight seasons of Weed over a three-month period doesn't help either.
The point of my story is, I have decided to do a semi-regular "Off the Shelf" post here on the blog in order to inspire me to read some of these books on my shelves.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
I have started with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It actually didn't come from my bookshelves, so I'm kind of cheating. My sister-in-law, who is a high school English teacher, and knows a good book when she finds it, suggested (actually campaigned) that I read this book.
And I'm glad she did. "Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books," writes Guernsey Literary Society member Isola Pribby. Perhaps that's why I couldn't read the 50 Shades book my friend loaned me.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society celebrates reading and books and the power of the arts to bring people comfort and companionship during difficult times. It is written as a series of letters, a fact which I actually thought would make it annoying. But it works.
Most of the letters are to and from writer Juliet Ashton, who in 1946 receives a letter from
a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Through letters from society members, Juliet pieces together a remarkable story about a group of lovable folks living on the British island of Guernsey during the German occupation in World War II. This small group of disparate characters accidentally launches a book club and each one of them learns to love literature in his or her own way.
Did you even realize the Germans had occupied part of England? If you did, you know more than me.
The tale is charming, romantic, tragic and nostalgic. As my sister-in-law promised, it's one of those books you just don't want to end. It's not Chaucer, but still it's pretty good.
What have you been reading (and hopefully enjoying) lately?
Free Books for the taking
Speaking of books, have you heard this cool idea?
People are apparently building birdhouse-like structures to house free on-street libraries in their own neighbourhoods. Everyone is encouraged to donate books that they are ready to pass along and pick up any that interest them. Kids books too. The entire neighbourhood can benefit from the sense of community. What a great idea! Read more here.