Monday, April 03, 2006

Bookshelves Tell A Lot



As I have mentioned before I love books, and I read them. I have book shelves in every room except the dinning room and the bathrooms. However there are always books in the bathroom, jokingly referred to at times as "The Reading Room". When I visit someone's house for the first time I always look for book shelves. Knowing what people read gives me an idea about who they are. I am not a novel person. Just never got into them. I have read a few, mostly old, from the late 1800's to the 1930's. After that period of time they don't seem to interest me. Now I do love good story books that teach you lessons about life. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House books are among my favorite. I don't own more than a handful of books in paper back. Just love hardback books. The way they smell, the sound of them when you open them and the weight of the pages.
The other day I was looking through my shelves seeing if I could part with some books to make room for new books. There comes a time when the new books find a home laying on top of the other books. The only way they will fit on the shelves. Couldn't find one book I wanted to part with. But here I was looking through my books and trying to decide what I would think about me if I was a stranger checking out my book collection. Well there are shelves of language books. I love learning languages. There are shelves of children's books, good ones, with wonderful illustrations. There is a long row of Pearl Buck books and books about birds, trees, weather and the like.
There are the Little house books, plant books, my husbands building books, all my craft books, medical books, poetry books, rows of Bibles, Mennonite story books, some homeschool books too dear to part with, and then a huge collection of herb books, part of which is in a picture here. Then there is part of a row dedicated to the lovely subject of weight. I weigh more than I want to. I am stocky, yeah that's a good way to phrase it. Overweight is such a blah term and saying "fat" sounds so....not nice. I was taught to never call someone fat, so I am not going to call myself that !
Back to the books, here on the shelf is a sampling of weight loss books. Pages filled with advice on, exercise, eating, or is that not eating....? I have read them all and there were a few more that didn't fit in the picture and oddly enough, this subject is often the place I can weed out a few books to make room for new ones.
Lets see, Dr Phil and Oprah with Bob Greene told me I need to get moving. I do that anyway. I run and hike and farm. Dr Phil has tiny portions of food. Oprah is no white stuff. French Women Don't Get Fat is a fun diet. Love it, fancy meals, pretty plates, walking, dressing nice, wine, champagne, cheese, bread, what more could you ask for ? Tiny petite bites, taking time to eat, finding pleasure in your food. Just small portions. Well this works but it also costs you a bit more on shopping day as you want to eat gourmet foods and you want to dress better and suddenly that old Ford Station Wagon in need of a paint job doesn't seem to be the car a sophisticated woman like me should drive....and then the " I need" list is born.
So I learned a lot from that book, I even have two copies I like it so well. I am not thin though, it takes time to loose the French way.
Now to the latest addition to the collection. Dr Weil's Healthy Aging. Not a weight loss book, but a life book. I have read every book he has written, even have a quote from me in a Rodale Press edition of one of his books. Some tiny quote saying how the book changed me. It did too, life long change. I am a health food person by nature. Goes along with my basic philosophies to eat natural and healthy. I raised my children on health food. Just I happen to love sugar and treats, which meant adding them to my own personal style of healthy eating !
Back to Healthy Aging. I watched Dr Weil, should call him Andy, I feel that close to him after reading his books so often, anyway, I watched him no less than 4 times on PBS when they had their pledge drive recently. I was all excited. What he said made sense. I knew it all really, but he is so darn cute with that big beard and jolly countenance. Right away I got the book, read it like it was a plate of whoppie pies. Oh wait, maybe I should say, "read it like it was a plate of no bake oatmeal treats". Right off I was hooked. Gave up sugar that day, a month ago. Gave up processed foods, gave up going out to eat for the most part. Not too many organic restaurants in this neck of the woods. This here is chicken fried steak country and biscuits and gravy breakfast country. I have to say, in all honesty, I feel fantastic and the weight I have wanted off, is coming, painlessly. I no longer miss the sugar. No cravings. There is the French influence of smaller portions, delightful presentation of the meals. There is the Oprah and Bob Greens, no white foods, and Dr Phil's exercise and certainly not as many calories. Maybe all the books have helped. Building blocks for the final destination of good habits in eating.
The next picture is my herb books that should keep me healthy for the next 70 years. I want to live like the Okinawan's, another book, live long, healthy and feisty
Not sure what my book shelves would say about me : )

8 comments:

Finn said...

Love the book pictures...for me, books are friends. It's hard to part with them. And while I may not agree with, or use the advice they give me, I give it head room, at least for awhile.

Very hard to part with books when you are downsizing, more so than other things. Even with my eye issues, I tend to hang onto my old friends, the wellworn books..*VBS*

Favorite Apron said...

I loved this post. I have more books than shelves and am a nonfiction freak too. I have a big shelf of homebirth books - can never part with those.
Congrats on the weight loss. I'm so jealous!

From another 5'4" sturdy person . . .

Sunny said...

Well, of COURSE you can't part with any of your books! Ask Emery to make you another shelf.

La Tea Dah said...

Your book shelves describe you perfectly! Except for the love of learning languages, our bookcases are completely compatible! LOL!

EatPeacePlease said...

What a great post! I may post a photo of my books to share with you. I too, like books that teach lessons, and or reference books.

Sandra said...

hee hee, I also have the Oprah, Dr Phill, Bob books etc. Read them over and over and I'm still 40Kg overweight!! I am presently reading Fit over Forty - it's a really great book and I went to the gym today, so I'm making a start :-)

JudyL said...

Patty: I love books too and always find it interesting to read the titles on others' shelves.

Judy L.

Tina said...

Hi Patty,
I have more books than I know what to do with , I hate parting with them and I like hard backs, I love the way they smell and feel I agree with you the weight of the paper feels good to the hands. I do love a good novel and I have a few herb books, many many cook books I love to cook and so does my sweet hubby. All of my books are in our basement where I sew...So if you came to visit me this is where we will need to hang out....

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