Saturday, September 13, 2008

WHAT'S ON YOUR BOOKSHELF AND WHY DID IT GET THERE?

My passion for learning and reading came late in life. Except for my set of encyclopedias, I only read what was necessary: books for that class report, or textbooks for math and history.

My english, literature, accounting, art, music and Greg Shorthand books were different from the rest; I enjoyed those books. If I knew how to "notice" clues, or if I understood how the heart spoke, I would have known that those preferences were a prediction of my future.

REFLECTING . . .

In reviewing the past thirty years or so, I realize that my choices of books depended upon what I was interested in, what I was exploring at the moment, or what was in the pubic library.

However, over time, I learned to be selective. It wasn't a conscious pattern; it just happened. Eventually, my bookshelves and floor spaces were filled with books in a wide range of subjects. To compensate for space, a stack of Leonardo da Vinci books became a decorating element which supported table lamps; a stack of Egyptian books was the foundation for sculptures; and a stack of writer's books was the foundation for precious family photos . . . and occasionally, candy wrappers, a set of missing keys, eyeglasses . . . do you get the picture? ;-D

BOOKS MARKED MY DECADES

The decades of my life can be marked by the publications I read.

WHO-AM-I? and WHAT-AM-I? DECADE

The 70's--self-improvement; self-help; family relationships; recipe books; family history; journal writing; quilting books and magazines; crafts; anything Victorian; and spirituality. This is the world-revolves-around-me season. Unfortunately, instruction manuals did not come with my marriage or the birth of my daughters. Nevertheless, I am blessed with a happy family. ;-D

WHERE-DO-I-BELONG-IN-THIS-BIG-WORLD DECADE

The 80's--Spirituality, journal writing, eastern philosophies, world religions, quilting magazines, real estate investments, writing and reading non-fiction and children's books, anything Victorian. There's a big world out there!

FINDING-BALANCE and DON'T-BE-SO-SERIOUS DECADE

The 90's--Spirituality, novels (J.K. Rowling, Richard Paul Evans, Donna Van Liere, Jennifer Chiaverini, Debbie Macomber), biographies, master artists, master musicians, How-to books, doll magazines, rubber stamping, quilting, journal writing, studies in Tai Chi and Yoga, and writing poetry and fiction. Find laughter along the way!

I-WANT-IT-ALL DECADE

The 2000's--Everything above with an emphasis on spirituality, history, biography, art, writing, journal writing, mixed media, altered art, doll making, cultures, computers, anything Victorian. I'm a sponge!

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY, THAT IS THE QUESTION

There is a science and process to my interest in a book or magazine. These are the elements I consider:

1. Does it have visual appeal?

Don't judge a book by its cover--or do? I'm attracted first by the photograph on the outside--front and back. If that appeals to me, then I look at what's inside.

2. What's inside?

How many chapters are there? What are the chapter titles? Are there more wonderful images on the inside? Does the publication have something new for me? If the subject isn't new, is there something different in the way the subject is presented?

I also read the first and the last paragraphs of a few random chapters--but always the first and last chapters--to get a feel for the writing style and its content. This gives an indication of what I'll experience by reading the book.

3. Who's the author?

I scan the brief bio on the jacket flap or the back of the book. This gives me some background of the person I am about to spend my time listening to.

4. Borrow or Buy?

Is this something I want to read once and resell to Half-Price Books? If so, I would borrow this book from the library. Would I reread this book? If so, I would purchase it and keep it in my library. I "need" a bigger house. ;-D

5. Could This Be a Gift?

Once in a while, I find a book or magazine that inspires me, and I want to share it with everyone. This is the book that you would buy by the case--if you could afford it--to give to loved ones at Christmas. I would give this kind of publication "Five Stars."

FROM MY LIBRARY

Opinions are subjective and dependent upon one's life's experiences and perceptions. It is important to me that you understand my selection process in order to appreciate my reviews for what they are, and so that you can determine for yourself whether or not a publication is for you. It's my intent to share my opinions, and by doing so, I also acknowledge that my opinions are based on limited and subjective experiences. However, I hope you find it worthy of some consideration.

PEOPLE CHANGE; OPINIONS CHANGE

This is currently my review process. However, over time, my process may change. Maybe I'll toss out the review process and wait and listen for books to call me and not care what it looks like on the outside.

Wait . . . . Did you hear that? I hear a voice? Could that be a book calling me?

I began "From My Library" last weekend. Stay tuned for the next installment of "From My Library," which will be posted tomorrow. I'll share a "Five Star" book and a project I made from one of the chapters from that book.


If you made it this far, you must be a friend. Enjoy your weekend!
Fannie


Images from Enchanted Mercantile

6 comments:

Jacq said...

I really enjoyed your post. It is fun to look back and see where we have been. I am always wondering where my journey will lead me next. We have shared many of the same interest over the past decades.

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Fannie,
These are all so very, very, very beautiful! I have gotten such inspiration and an eye full. I love it! Thank again for the head nod. I'm preparing to the award to the blog. I finally got a day off so I'm playing catch up! Have a wonderful weekend Sweetie.

laughingwolf said...

i have lots of books on my bookshelf, some by friends i made on blogger, quite a few on animation and cartooning, writing, mac computers, and other artsy-fartsy stuff

really hard to let any of them 'go'....

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi fannie
i love this post. you are not only a talented artist, but an excellent communicator.
you are so articulate and observant about the world around you and yourself.
you are very special and very talented and i am lucky to know you!
xo
melissa

Diana Evans said...

what a wonderful read Fannie...I am thankful to call you my friend and learn from you each and every day....

hugs
Diana

morningDove said...

looking forward to seeing what your selection for 5-star is tomorrow. friend not foe.