A Note on Books

Every book you read becomes a new room in your head — and I want to live in a mansion of people, universes, centuries, and phrases. There’s an air about someone who’s gallivanted, joyously, through a library in their early years that I revere — far more than I revere someone who has travelled the world, been born beautiful or wears an expensive coat.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links

I invest far too much time on what’s on my bookshelf, so much so that I first starting “blogging” on tumblr writing book reviews and such completely engulfed in a world of books. Clothes are pretty and sure I love my shoes, but most of my wardrobe is stuffed into drawers and closed behind doors. My books are all lined up, everywhere and on every shelf — they are on display.

Moving was the most difficult experience, picking and choosing those from my collection that got to travel across the Atlantic with me and start a new journey. I’ve been forced to restart my collection with my favourites from the bunch. Not only that but curating this collection has now developed into a two person job. My classic novels and modern favourites have been met with books about magic and fantasy. From a distance it might seem like a random selection but each book has a story and a past.

There’s a special shelf on our bookcase filled with seamlessly random books but if you were to pick any of them up you would find both our handwriting writing notes, comments and reactions has we read. During our two years of long distance we frequently sent each other books we had read with our comments so the other would feel like we were reading them together. It might seem nerdy, and I guess it is, but it was a great tool for our long distance, we always had something to talk about or laugh about when the other reads our comments. I must have wrote OMG a thousand times in the margin of these books or comments like ‘when you finish this chapter call me because I have to freak out’ stupid little things that kept us together over a mutual love for books. These books are probably my favourite in our collection but to those visiting they’re just random books with silly titles and beat up covers from being shipped back and forth, stuffed in bags and luggage multiple times but they are nonetheless loved.

Books are an expression, an expression of the individual and the expression of us as a couple as our bookshelf expands. A book collection says a lot about a person, it’s the first thing I look for when I visit someones house. A quick scan of someone’s books will express far more about them than what they wear or even what they say. And when I walk into someone’s house and they have no books, I need to force myself to bite my tongue and ask why. Some might be impressed with your large flat screen and any number of electronics you have laying around but what I really want to see if a nice collection of books.

There are so many books I’ve read that I wish I could work into everyday conversation because they mean so much. Some have made me cry, laugh, even changed my life in only a book can. I’m never any good at picking my favourites because it all depends on my mood. So instead I’m sharing the twenty books I thought important enough to pack into my suitcase over a year ago.


MY TOP 20 BOOKS:

Summer Crossing by Truman Capote, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Emma by Jane Austen, Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close, Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power, A Profound Mind by The Dalai Lama, The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, One Day by David Nicholls, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, I’ll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich.


THE GREAT HARDCOPY/KINDLE DEBATE:

Books aren’t cheap, that’s just a fact, reading is an expensive habit. Some much of my life is already behind a screen that I cannot bring myself to buy a kindle. I need the real thing, I need to hold it in my hands, I want paper that I can scribble and highlight when the mood strikes. I want to throw it in my bag and bring it with my around the city. Obviously, Amazon’s prices are pretty reasonable and one of my preferred methods, however I do love a good secondhand bookshop. They might be slightly (sometimes badly) used or worn but that just means it’s had another life.

Don’t have the time to read book after book? I recently tried audible.com, so I could listen to books on the go. It was a completely different experience than actually reading it myself, but lovely all the same. I try not to listen to books, preferring to read and give the characters different voices in my mind but I do listen to the occasional book when taking Kendall on a long walk.


You can shop all my above books on Amazon below (please note, these are affiliate links are you will be redirected to Amazon.co.uk)

Summer Crossing by Truman Capote

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Emma by Jane Austen

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

A Problem from Hell by Samantha Power

A Profound Mind by The Dalai Lama

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

One Day by David Nicholls

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

I’ll Drink to That by Betty Halbreich.

About the author
Staci West is an obsessive compulsive traveller who is currently dealing with a chronic case of coffee addicition. Symptoms include blackouts from online shopping sessions, a ferocious passion for everything colourful and energy levels that exceed a normal human capacity. On the advice of her carer and companion, Kendall her yellow labrador, she created L&L, a down to Earth lifestyle blog, as a distraction for her pathological need for shoes.

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