Friday, November 20, 2009

I Cannot Live Without Books

Thomas Jefferson and I have quite a lot in common. I cannot live without books.

I learned to read when I was three, and my parents have no idea how, because they didn't actively sit down and teach me. They did, however, read over and over and over my favorite story at the time -- "Peter Pan". They figure I picked up reading from the million and ten readings of that book.

I wrote in a previous post how excited I was that after two years of waiting, Diana Gabaldon's seventh book in the "Outlander" series was finally ready. I'd waited for this book like most people wait for Christmas. Her books are huge epic tomes, around 700-900 pages, and I had decided to reread the first six books in preparation for "An Echo in the Bone".

The book came out September 22nd. As most of you know, I'm quite prolific with my book reading (look to the right, and you can see my library), but since I've been battling a neurological disorder called intracranial hypertension, my eyesight has been affected by headaches and it's been slow going. Last night, however, I finally finished the first six books and TONIGHT (claps wildly!) I get to start "An Echo in the Bone".

The problem will begin AFTER I finish Gabaldon's book. It's a problem that always happens when I finish a book that I love sooooo much that I feel like I've lived with the characters. What book can possibly follow in the footsteps of a book that I've loved so much?

I also have an added problem -- over the past four months I've collected a healthy stack of books waiting to be read. A HUGE stack. A Heaven Stack.

I've always said that my idea of Heaven is a huge library full of books, comfy chairs, huge airy windows, and an endless supply of Starbucks nonfat mochas.

Heaven. I don't often talk religion OR politics (it's just asking for a punch in the face from someone), but I will say I'm tolerant of pretty much anything. I imagine Jesus, the Dalai Lama, and Ghandi walking into the room (*) and having a cup of something hot and asking me what book I'm reading. I imagine my son and husband sitting nearby with their Heaven Stack at their feet, reading bits of their books to me. I think that's a good vision of Heaven.

If you're interested, here are the books on my night stand:

"Under the Dome" by Stephen King. Oh I can't tell you how excited I am about this one and I'll probably read it right after "Echo". I held that HUGE volume in my hands and was so happy about all the new people to meet and stories to be told in this novel.

"A Brief History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson. I have the illustrated version, and Rick has read this one and told me I had to read it.

Then there are the kid's books. I love juvenile lit and I have several to read....

"The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma"
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days"

I also have another juvenile lit book to read that I'm excited about because the author contacted me and sent me a copy to read and review. It's called "Big Bobby Boom and the Marble Mayhem", by Gregg Seeley, and flipping through it, it looks like fun.

"Wait Until Twilight" by Sang Pak. I picked this up on impulse at the book store. Looks dark.

"Hugh and Bess" by Susan Higginbotham. I read her first novel, "The Traitor's Wife", and it was fantastic. I love 14th century historical fiction, all the Eleanor of Aquitaine-era stuff, and I'm looking forward to this one!

"Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts. A friend kept telling me how I should really, really read this, so I finally got a copy.

"The Big Rewind: A Memoir Brought to You By Pop Culture" by Nathan Rabin. Nathan writes/wrote for The Onion's art section - I imagine this will be a good one.

And finally, books I've had on my bookshelves that I've totally forgotten to read over the years -- "Official Secrets", "The Late Child", "Letters of the Century", and "A Man in Full".

That's a lot of books.

Plus, I'm quite certain I'm getting books for Christmas, seeing as how I keep adding to my wish list on

I jokingly say that I can't die until all the books are read. At this rate, I'll live forever.

(* I'm glad I didn't get struck down by lightning when I wrote what suspiciously sounded like the beginning of a "three men walked into a bar" joke!)

When Lori Anderson isn't reading, she's making jewelry. You can see her work at


  1. You love books and reading the way I do. I picked up a funny one -- The Yoga Teacher by Alexandra Gray. Picked this one up for $1.00 at Half Price Books. I liked the title and loved the cover! Haven't quite finished it and I hope the ending is as good as the rest has been. Whatever -- it was worth the $1.00! :D :D :D

  2. And now I have new books to add to *my* list!

  3. I am the same way. I love books. My husband constantly looks at my bookshelf and says..."Can't we get rid of some of these?" But I love having books.

    Don't think I could ever go to electronic books.

  4. I love reading too, not as much as you for sure, I used to read a ton of books in Persian when I was a kid, when we came to America I was 14 & I could not speak English let alone read it, so it was very hard time for me so I learned English really fast just so I could start reading again...I will check out some of your picks, they sound awesome... give yourself some time when you get started on Shantram as you will not want to put it down and its a monster of a book, I think a 1000 something pages...I love that one...have fun reading...

  5. Which brings to mind my favourite episode (and the 1st one I ever saw) of The Twilight Zone, in which all Burgess Meredith wants to do is read. And nobody will let him.

  6. You are my kind of woman. I have 6 library books right now, 6 more holds just came into the library, and I have my niece's precious pre-pub copy of Under the Dome to read. I'm going to have a busy week of vacation.

  7. I have to say, I get goodreads updates from you and I am often impressed by the amount that you read. I don't know where or how you find the time or get past the headaches. I love to read too, but I am by no means reading at your pace.

  8. Hi Lori,
    I'm currently reading Eragon. That Christopher is such a talent.
    Happy reading and a great weekend.

  9. Oh, you and me both. There is just never enough time for all the reading I want to do! I, too, would love to re-read all the Outlander books. I need to buy them, though, as they are never available at the library. You encouraged me to try to get through the "overly historical" ones and I'm willing to give it a try!

    Right now I'm reading the Twilight series. Definitely NOT my genre, and I've resisted thus far, but I found the first one at a thrift store recently for $2 and picked it up on a whim. They are so short that I'm blasting through them in a couple of bedtimes, and now I want to see what happens!

    There's never enough time for all the reading I want to do!


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