Z – The Last Thoughts – Ah, Books and Bookshops

Thank You for visiting my bookstore tour throughout April for this year’s AtoZ Blog Challenge. Henry Ward Beecher said, “Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore.” I know this is true for me. I invite you to continue keeping me company by FOLLOWING this blog where I write book reviews, reflect on writing, gardening, travel, and……more.

Drew Barrymore said, “You can never, never have too many books.” I agree. but I add, ”or ever, ever have enough bookshelves.” I’ve reached an age when I’m beginning to worry about what will happen to my books when I am gone. I have a dear friend, John V. who feels there are too many pillows on the bed in the master bedroom. With good humor, should this be the case, he says that after his wife’s celebration of life service, he intends to place these pillows in the hands of friends saying, “Tucker would want you to have this.” I laugh whenever I think of his problem-solving strategy. When it comes to giving away MY books, that’s a different matter.

Altogether, my books constitute an archeological dig into my life. In this particular collection, each book has been chosen carefully by subject, because of its book jacket and the blurb on the back of the cover where I look and find a few buzz words that tell me if the author and I share a language. These books are a part of my identity and have helped me understand my life. Only moving has forced me to cull the herd, so to speak. Risking that I can live without them, I set a  few books aside to be given away.

When I walk into a bookstore I understand why there are so many books because there are many different kinds of readers. You might not be interested in my beautiful garden books, shelved by subject, essential to this self-taught gardener, or you might not love Pat Conroy’s lyrical voice, or read the kind of poetry I read. Perhaps you have no interest in reading one of my non-fiction titles like Citizens of London by Lynne Olson or Harold Evan’s My Paper Chase. Though how you could resist my new favorite author, Amor Towles, who wrote A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility, I can’t imagine. We know, however, that no two people read the same book.

We can agree that time spent in a bookstore provides the happiest of hours. Starting a new book is an adventure not to be missed. Over time, my ‘favorite’ book changes.  I suppose the same is true for you too.  I hope you remember the gift of your childhood books and your mother reading to you. I’m not sure which day I slipped off her lap and began to read on my own, but since then, on any given day,  I am never without a book. I cherish the books and bookshops that have provided endless hours of pleasure. I hope you have enjoyed the theme I selected this year. From start to finish it has been my delight!

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About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
This entry was posted in Ato Z Blog Challenge 2018 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Z – The Last Thoughts – Ah, Books and Bookshops

  1. eschudel says:

    Thanks for sharing your tour of bookstores. I have many fond memories of spending time wandering aisles and perusing books in such treasure houses. I don’t do that as much these days, and I should start again…

    • The big box stores never provide the same ambiance the bookshops that I have written about throughout the #Challenge can. Now that bookstores are back on your radar screen, I hope the next time you walk through the door, you will take me with you. Enjoy! Thank you for reading and commenting on these posts. It’s been fun to have you along.

  2. jebjork says:

    I really liked your theme this year. Whenever I feel stressed or my head is out of sorts, I enter a bookshop or the library and just walk along the shelves. It is bliss.

    • I agree that this is a wonderful form of therapy, without a penny spent. I am pleased this theme was of interest to you this year. As you well know, a lot of work, but for kindred spirits, it is worth it. Thanks for keeping me company.

  3. scr4pl80 says:

    Thanks for sharing all the bookstores. I know I am going to start paying more attention to look for them when we go places. Congrats on finishing the A to Z!

  4. slfinnell says:

    And I found another used book store last week! Of course we always find something. Maybe an interview of possible recipients is in order for our beloved books? Like a lottery? lol Congrats on the a to z finish this year 🙂

  5. trishafaye says:

    I laughed at your friends ‘giving away the pillows’ plan.
    Congratulations on making it to Z!

  6. Anabel Marsh says:

    Congratulations on completing the A to Z! And three cheers for bookshops (and libraries).

  7. Thank you for a month of interesting bookstores. I think if it hadn’t been for your posts, I would have passed over visiting a small bookstore when traveling.

  8. Liam says:

    Congrats on completing the A to Z Challenge! I enjoyed virtually browsing bookstores around the world.

  9. I enjoyed all the many bookstores you’ve shared… if only I could visit in real time. https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/

  10. Donna Smith says:

    I got to your blog late, but am loving the leisurely stroll through the bookstores now. My parents had an antique shop, and my mom had a section in it that was just books. Often she would bring home a book from her collection for me to read. Bobbsey Twins, Honeybunch, Anne of Green Gables, and on to Moby Dick and Gone With the Wind… The must and dust of old books bother me now, but I still love an old book.

  11. What a great end to a wonderful A to Z series. I love the idea of handing out throw pillows. Very cute. I completely agree that no two people read the same book. Congrats on making it to the end 🙂

  12. patsypridgen says:

    Great blogs, Stepheny! Congrats on posting such eloquent words each day on such a great topic. You are to be admired for all your hard work.

  13. Bravo for finishing the challenge, Stepheny and thank you for taking us on this lovely journey. I LOVE libraries, so it was a pleasure to discover yours and to revisit a few I knew.

  14. noelleg44 says:

    Thank you for taking us with you, Stepheny!

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