Red Book, Blue Book, Old Book, New Book

Saturday, October 10, 2015

**Coffee and a Donut Post**

Since it's [almost] National Book Week, I thought I'd make books the subject of this week's post. As a self-confessed bibliophile, I readily admit to having no less than eight (yes, 8) bookcases scattered throughout the house literally brimming with books (I suppose one might say I've got a home full of tomes *snicker*). This includes - as indicated by the post title - books by Dr. Seuss. I mean, what self-respecting book-a-holic could miss out on that marvelous cadence of his? Anytime I find a topic I am interested in pursuing, the first thing I do is look for a book or two (maybe three) depending on the subject. I have books on drawing, painting, crocheting, tatting, various crafts (I'd bet Ann's got more), gardening, animals, birds (though probably not as many as Anni), nature, and using essential oils and herbs, and a bazillion other subjects. When we remodeled our house, my dad and I made three 7' built-in bookcases [pictured] for the master bedroom, where I keep most of my fictional reading.  Believe it or not, we used 5" baseboard molding for the shelves. It has a marvelous finished edge and it's the perfect width for paperbacks (in the event that there are any other DIY bibliophiles out there ;o)

I have multiple dictionaries from the picture kind to unabridged. I've hung on to them, even though I tend to use my phone most of the time these days. Then there is the recreational reading for all ages, as well as a plethora of horse books; big shocker there, right? (ummm..... maybe not so much). Thankfully, there is a terrific used bookstore located a few miles away that takes trades (barring that, Ebay is a great used book resource). The store is actually an old house, and they have books piled to the ceiling in every room. Love it! I often walk (sometimes skip) away with a great big stack of books for $5.  I think that's a good thing. Well, most of the time anyway; except when it comes time to dust. Then I might not be quite so excited (although I must say that a super duper shop vac with a brush attachment is a wondermous thing ;o) 
[Photo Inset: A few of my dictionaries - can't have too many, don'tcha know]

A Kindle for Christmas several years ago added a whole new dimension to my library. Crazy to think you can fit somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,500 books in something that is less than half an inch thick and fits neatly in your purse, isn't it? Toss in an app for my phone and I suddenly no longer cared about having to stand in line anywhere. Why should I? I've got a book to read while I wait. One of the best things I discovered was earlier this year: Book Bub. Have you heard of it? For those of you who haven't, it is AWESOME. Book Bub puts out a daily email containing a list of free and reduced price books in a variety of genres. Maybe about ten at a time? Never counted. Anyhoo, most of them are for a limited time only (so get 'em while the gettin's good!). I have found a number of books by my favorite authors (usually the first in a series) as well as tons of new authors that I had never heard of for free. Free! For someone who cannot afford to fully fund her voracious reading habit - I have been known to blow through an entire series in one week when school is out - this is very exciting stuff. Plus, I'm not much of a gambler when it comes to test driving new authors with my money. It only took a couple of truly terrible reads - that had great sounding "blurbs" on the cover - to discourage me from buying unknown authors in the future. Did I mention that some of the books were free? Throw in the ability to "shelve" the books on Amazon when my phone library is full, and I wind up with digital shelf space akin to that of the New York City Library; AND it all fits in my pocket! *squeeee*
[Photo Inset: Part of my Karen Kingsbury collection - she is one of my favorite authors; even if she does make me cry.]

Of course one of my favorite topics to read both recreationally AND for research is horses, of courses! Although there are a number of excellent training resources out there for working with horses, I think my favorite "go to" thought provoking people for training (though I much prefer to call it "playing with purpose" ;o) are Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling and Mark Rachid. Before I stumbled upon their writings, I had been pulling a little of this and a little of that from various trainers and making my own little pot luck version. The one thing that really bugged me, however, was the cookie cutter methods used in horse training; the "one size fits all" approach. Yes, some things do remain constant in training, but all of them? Surely not. Maybe because I viewed our horses as a collection of individuals, rather than a "herd" of horses. Individuals with their own unique personalities and interests. I'm sure the same is true for dogs and other animals as well. Right?
Both men push you to think about things that most horse people never stop to consider. Hempfling pointed out that the traditional round pen led to disoriention (page 69 Dancing with Horses), just as staying in a round room for an extended period of time would ultimately disorient us. This made total sense to me and is the reason we built square and rectangular training areas. Rachid introduced the concept of "Passive Leadership" (Horses Never Lie) which placed emphasis on becoming your horse's chosen leader as opposed to their alpha. Revolutionary stuff to someone who was raised on the "show 'em who's boss" method of riding (a role I was never comfortable in). Though I've read all his books, Rachid doesn't come this far east to do clinics. Kate at A Year with Horses has been kind enough to share her own experiences at his clinics with those of us less fortunate; she has a whole list of them on the right-hand side of the blog (the lucky heifer ;o)
[Photo Inset: One of several horsey shelves; complete with childhood Breyer #68 Legionario III]

Wondering how I became such a big reader? Aside from genetics which predisposed me toward right brain-ism (mom was an English major and dad a Journalism major; they met working at a newspaper - he was her editor) growing up we spent five weeks out of each summer at the beach; our annual family vacation. Believe it or not, there was no T.V. - at all - for five whole weeks. Shocking, but true and possibly the best thing my parents ever did for me. Once the sun went down there wasn't a whole lot do there (one small store and an ice cream parlor), and you can only play so many board games. *laugh* DH, who is a total news and reality TV junkie, cannot fathom why I readily ignore the tube in favor a good read  - poor guy ;o) This photo is of one of my childhood books (published in 1964). It is "Alice's Adventures Underground" and is a facsimile of Carroll's original manuscript complete with illustrations and slipcover. Yes, the pages shown below really are yellowed with age (and let's not even go there). Pretty neat, eh? I always loved the silly poem about Father William. Of course now I wonder what his teachers had to say about his penmanship. *laugh* (control+ will make it larger if you need to):

How about you? Are you a big reader too? Thank you so much for sticking with me and reading this far! *wink* Have a blessed week y'all!


  1. I am a big reader and you have WAY more books than I do. All of my craft type books can fit on one shelf of a bakers rack that I have in my craft room. I do have a few assorted titles in either hard back or paperback but most of my books these days are on my kindle. Like you I don't mind waiting like I used to because my kindle goes everywhere with me

    1. Ann: What a great idea - I LOVE baker's racks! If I had the space, I'd have several. What in the world did we ever do without our handy-dandy Kindle app? (read those stupid supermarket tabloids, that's what. Blech! *shivers* ;o)

  2. Naturally I would most likely assume your favorite subject to read about would be HORSES. Hey, that reminds me...have you ever read the book TRAVELER by Richard Adams....the author who is most known for Watership Down? It's an older book, published long ago, but it's one of my favorite reads to this date. I'm pretty sure you'd enjoy it if you can find it...The book itself is narrated by the horse, Traveler. It's Gen. Robert E. Lee's horse.

    Oh, and yes, I love to read. A big fan of reading. My favorite genre is historical fiction.

    1. Anni: Apparently, I've missed one! Watership Down is on the shelf, but I've not heard of Traveller (apparently it is spelled with two L's, so I backed up and corrected myself here ;o)

      Thank you SO much for sharing that one! Popped over and added it to my wish list on Amazon for the next time I order stuff.

  3. That is a Bryer tucked in your books. I love Bryer horses. I confessed my reason and my insanity here.

    1. Gail: It is indeed; I'll confess to owning an entire herd of them. My "Bay Arabian Mare" is shiny like the one in your post, but all of the others have a much less glossy finish.

      What's really funny is that some of my Breyers look exactly like the horses in our pasture. I need to remember that one for a future blog post ;o)

  4. I LOVE my Kindle! I didn't think I would because I am very tactile and there is just something about holding a book in your lap. I was amazed at how quickly I got over that. The only problem...I never remember the name of the book I am reading! You just never see the title over and over again when you pick it up. Do you find that too?

    1. Lin: I had the same thought; but adjusted much faster than I thought I would. LOVE that one-handed [thumbed] page turning!

      I think you found one of the two big drawbacks to the Kindle:
      1. Utter cluelessness when asked, "What book are you reading?" and,
      2. Trying to find a book you want to re-read when you can recall neither title nor author. Sooo much easier to scan the shelves ;o)

Your comments really brighten my day!

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