June 22st 2018

June 22st 2018
Sunflowers have Arrived

Friday, February 22, 2013

Books and Why I Like Them

I keep trying to get over my love of books. I keep thinking I could have so much more room if I got rid of my bookcases. I went out to my shed where I have boxes and boxes of books that I need to go through. As I opened one box to see what was in it, I just felt myself sliding down and going to that place that books lead me too. I went out to see if I had any room to put more books and came back in with an arm load. I mean they are my friends that have taught me so much, they have helped me to ponder life, they have been my constant companion.

Reading books is to me like finding buried treasure. I was reading that book called Reflections "On the Magic of Writing" By Diana Wynne Jones. The reason I loved her so much because I could give all of her books to my children even reluctant readers and they would devour her books. I really don't know why she was over looked in the world of children's fiction, she is every bit or even better than J.K. Rowling.

In this book I am in a chapter called, " Some Hints on Writing"  She tells some stories about her early life that make me sad and amazed.  I thought I would share her words here today.

"I think I write the kind of books I do because, when I was five years old, the Second World War broke out and everything went mad. Perfectly sane neighbors began crawling about in the field by our house with bushes tied to their heads, training for the Home Guard.  The time was dangerous as well as mad. Airplanes, barrage balloons, and searchlights filled the sky. People you knew died suddenly when a bomb hit the end of the street. Ordinary life became unsafe the whole time. Anything could happen."

"London was very unsafe by then, and we were sent with a school to a big house in the Lake District.  The house was the home of the children in Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome ( they were real people), Arthur Ransome himself lived in a houseboat on the lake nearby. He got annoyed by the noise some of the smaller children made playing on the lake shore and stormed in to complain. Beatrix Potter lived not too far away and she was real, too. She smacked my sister and her friend for swinging on her front gate."

Continuing: " The same house had also belonged to the secretary of the writer and artist John Ruskin. The lofts were stacked with thick paper on which the man had drawn pictures of flowers, hundreds of them. Now, at this stage in the war everything was in short supply and there was no drawing paper. So one afternoon I climbed into the loft and fetched down a big pile of the drawings and started to rub them out so that I could use the paper to drew on myself. John Ruskin drawings fetch thousands of pounds these days. I must have rubbed out several hundred pound's worth before I was caught and punished."

I love stories about real life and how little tiny, seemingly insignificant little things that go on can make real life so colorful. I have read 4 of her books, she writes for children. As she says, " Adults never get my books, but kids always understand them." I think to get her books, you have to still hang on to that bit of child that still lives inside. I know when I read them and I was in the midst of raising children and life just seemed so very complicated, her books made me uncomfortable. Now, I enjoy them. My husband loves a set of the books in a series called "The Chrestomanci series" He read all of them and enjoyed all and was sad when he was finished. I think her most popular title because they made a movie out of it is called " Howl's Moving Castle."  In my mind I always compare Diana Wynn Jones to Madeline L' Engle. Both are wonderful writers and both I have enjoyed

I haven't written about books in awhile. I have this list that keeps growing in my mind of books I would like to write about. It is hard for me because I really do love children's fiction. Since I have taken my year off from buying books or going to the library and only reading from my own books, it has been a interesting experiment. Then again, it is like discovering old friends that have enriched my life.

Thank you for coming along today.



  1. Please, please, don't try to get over your love of books! I love to read almost more than anything else. We had no TV growing up, and I learned to love getting lost in a good book, and I still do. Hardly a night goes by that I don't fall asleep with a book in my hand!

  2. I love books too! One of my greatest joys in life is reading!

  3. I approve of this post! You know how hard I fell for her writing. I wish I'd known about her books years ago.

  4. I'm glad that you have your own books that keeps you interested and that helps you to ponder on things.

    Most of the books I have are how to books, gardening books, reference books, spiritual books, hobbies, cookbooks, encyclopaedias and a few other categories.

    I also have some best seller books and once I read it it will sit on the shelf gathering dust and books are to be read. I never read a story book twice, I don't care to watch a movie twice unless it's one I really want to understand better. I'm weird like that. lol...

    As I get older, I have a need for less stuff and I've noticed that I'm not alone to feel like that. With the computer, I can access information at the click of the mouse.

    Boys, I'm long winded... Have a beautiful weekend.

  5. I have a great fondness for books. I carry one with me everywhere I go. I like books that are of value and not offensive. I like to be educated or entertained, or both.

  6. There is nothing better than a good book, you csn take them read for a while, put them up and just take up where you left off at a later time.

  7. I love books too. When I was child, I would read everything I could my hands on and I am still an avid reader today...I have a kindle for traveling purposes but there are many books I still buy because I want to touch them and have them for my own.....

    Don't feel bad about all your books; I think it's wonderful that you have probably passed this love of books on to your kids....

  8. As you already know, Kim...I, too, love books. Unfortunately, I don't read enough of the kind of books as you do. I might have to change that. I read for simple pleasure...not so much to learn or expand my horizons. hmmmmm...perhaps I really should give my reading choices some thought. Thank you for a very insightful post. xo

  9. It is almost impossible for me to clear any books away! Consequently, we keep adding book shelves.:-) xo Nellie

  10. I shall look up Diana Wynne Jones! Fun!
    Oh, books are so very precious. I love this post!

  11. as i put my head down, i have to be honest, i don't read!! but i think that any passion in life is wonderful!!

  12. i gave moved so many times, i give the majority of my books away as soon as possible as i dont want to move them! Also though we have a book exchange at work where people bring their books and leave them for someone else to pick up to take home and read.

  13. I love books too, but am confessing that I don't read like i used too, as blogging has taken over, though lately I am doing neither. ~smile! We have been busy with the lambing, we now have 35 lambs, plus we had a very nice visit with our son and daughter-in-law.
    Enjoyed reading some of your previous posts, your farmhouse chats and Daybooks are always a joy to read, thanks for sharing.

  14. I'm a book enthusiast also but this is an author I did not know about. You can bet I'm going to check her out!

  15. I agree with Alicia - that goal you mention is unworthy of consideration for even a minute!

    Thank you for all the blossom photos - almond blossoms mean a lot to me because of all the times I drove down Hwy 5 through all the almond orchards a various times throughout the year, going to see my father and family.

    Happy Spring!


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