Back in the day, I didn’t buy books to read. I used the public library. I only bought books I loved reading, that way my collection stayed small and every book in it was special to me. I started doing this as a broke college student working in my hometown library. At that time I had the unique opportunity to read book reviews, order books for the collection, and be the first to check them out when they were processed and ready for the shelves. Kind of a nice gig for a bibliophile such as myself.
There will always be children’s books in my personal collection. Those will remain on my shelf for posterity’s sake. They could be books I loved as a child, books I loved reading to my pre-school story-time crowds, or books my children loved hearing when they were small. Lately though I’ve been drawn to some of the books from my college years, like “The Falconer” by Elaine Clark McCarthy, and “Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God“, by Joe Coomer. What was it about these books that drew me in and how did they end up on my forever bookshelf? What I’ve found is that they are uniquely tied to a situation or stage in my life.
As I re-read “The Falconer” I recognized the relationship seeking stage I must have been in. The book is beautifully written and definitely a love story. However, the me of today wouldn’t have given it a second glance. “Beachingcombing For A Shipwrecked God” holds more promise. I am re-reading it now, and I’d have to say that it calls to my world wandering nature. The me before I left my cozy little hometown. Next up will be books from my early married years, but in-between all this re-reading is a whole list of books on my GoodReads list still waiting to be read.
As my income has increased so has my desire to walk into a bookstore and plunk down my hard earned money, but I think I kind of like this “Forever Bookshelf” idea I had so long ago. Last week I went online and checked out my local library collections. I’ve reserved several books from my list which I can’t wait to go pick up. Who knows? One may be worthy of the forever book shelf, and 20 years from now I may decide to re-read it as a reminder to these mid life years. These mid-life years that I am currently embroiled in, and for the most part loving.