Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Ralph Waldo Emerson”

Treaured Tomes


While I tend to pass up most blog challenges, I couldn’t resist the one passed on by Reading Interrupted by another blogger: show us your bookshelves.

Last year I posted an entry about bookshelves and it really resonated with readers, and to date it ranks among my highest hits and responses posts.  What is it about peering at someone else’s bookshelves. Reading Interrupted believes it’s a way to look into our literary soul, which makes me nervous.  However, being a Book Booster, how can I not show off some of the books I own?

I have bookshelves all over the house: kitchen for the cookbooks, living room holds the eclectics ranging from Calvin and Hobbes to bird identification guides, the bedroom has my stack of bible references and current reads, the office is filled with review favorites (mostly children’s books) and tools of the trade, and the back bedroom is the MEPA’s storehouse of ruggedness, all those pursuits of fishing, hunting, politics and such. And then there are  my pretties, my treasures which are displayed on the table next to my inherited piano from my great aunt.  I was fortunate enough to receive her wonderful collection of books. My iPhone photo does not show the titles well, but you must admit they are gorgeous in binding.  They just about shout, “Open me, read me, all who enter these pages will be satiated.” I’ve been dipping into them over the years, savoring them for I do not want to go through them too quickly. Also, I confess, some are rather daunting.


For example, The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, The Works of Tolstoi, a study on Ralph Waldo Emerson, selected works of Matthew Arnold.  There are also Ibsen plays, poem collections by Browning, Dickinson, and selected verse from Canadian poets, along with stories from Dumas.  As you can see if I were to consume too quickly such a rich collection I might go by way of gout.

My fave librarian, ET, knowing I am a Book Booster, surprised me one day with a gifting of more of these finely bound treasures. She passed on a blessing to me and I, of course, was thrilled with the serendipity of new friends. You must admit it is a handsome collection.  To think, this is how books used to be, all stately and elegant back when reading books was the prime entertainment and erudition pursuit of most people.

Although these aren’t personally selected favorites, they are indeed treasures.  I suppose I treat them more as my book museum as I respect them and the fragile condition they are in. Does anyone else have a treasure of books they have inherited or perhaps picked up along their travels in life?

Writerly Wisdom

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
Ernest Hemingway
Good writing is like a windowpane.
George Orwell

You fail only if you stop writing.
Ray Bradbury
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