Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gratitude - Day 12 - Books

Books, books, and more books, at the Chamblin Book Mine, Jacksonville, FL

I'm thankful for books, and for a mother who read to me as a child.  She was an avid reader, and passed her love of books on to me. My favorite book, as a child, was 365 Bedtime Stories, about children who lived on What A Jolly Street.  I enjoyed  the book so much, I wore it out, and my mother bought a second copy.  I read that one till it fell apart, too. I remember learning how to read, and my excitement at being able to recognize words.  That love of reading and books has stayed with me to this day.

Because I grew up in alcoholism through my teen years, my parents were mostly unavailable or not much inclined to talk about my concerns or problems.  I leaned heavily on books for guidance.  I remember going to the local public library every Saturday to read and check out books to help me understand my parents.  I have a vivid memory of sitting in the library, reading a book that helped me realize my parents were very sick people.  It helped.

When I married at seventeen to get away from home, I read books on how to have a successful marriage.  When I became a new mother, four years later, I read books on how to take care of babies.  As my children grew up, I read books on parenting.  Always, always, in addition to The Bible, I turned to books for instruction for how to live my life.

For many years, I worked as a church librarian, and I loved the work so much.  I also had a Christian used book store for a short time.  It was not a success because the principle of trading didn't work well for me.  I found that while people were willing to buy the books, they didn't want to trade or sell them.  The reason?  Most people like to keep their Judeo-Christian books.  Oh well, I can certainly relate, being a book hoarder myself.

Yes, I confess to being a book hoarder.  My husband is, too.  Put two book hoarders together, and you have a recipe for disaster.  Our office overflows with books....into the bedroom...into the living room.  You get the idea.  We have a ton of books.I don't know who originally said this, but I totally agree:  "When I have a little bit of money, I buy books."  We love to go to our library's semi-annual book sales, and also buy used books at garage sales, thrift stores and used book stores.

Our favorite used book store is in Jacksonville, Florida.  If you ever get the chance, you must visit the Chamblin Book Mine.  I started going to the store back in the 80's when it was just a small store in the Riverside area of Jacksonville's West Side.  Now the main store is in a former grocery store with over an acre of rows and rows of books.  It is my idea of heaven on earth, and I have spent hours and days exploring those stacks.  They opened a second store in down-town Jacksonville, which is near the main public library.  Going to either store is a delightful experience for a book lover.

My favorite book, other than the Bible, is Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles Cowman.  I have worn out several copies of this book, since I've been using it as a daily devotional since the 70's.  The mixture of stories and poetry helped  build my faith, and also influenced my writing, art and poetry.  I read mostly non-fiction, as you might have surmised.  I love this quote, no matter what genre I lean toward at the moment:

“Be careful what books you read, 

for as water tastes of the soil it runs though,

 so does the soul taste of the authors that a man reads.”

- John Trapp, English Puritan

I'd love to hear from you, dear Gail-Friends, about your favorite books, as I'm always looking for another good read.

I'm linking up today to: 
Titus 2 Tuesday

Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!
Teach Me Tuesday
Artful Tuesday


  1. Loved reading about your love for books. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I'm a book lover (and hoarder! :)), too. We are overrun by them here! (My Kindle has helped with that a bit, though. :)) My latest favorite Christian non-fiction is "Everything", by Mary DeMuth.

    1. I read on Kindle, too. It sure saves space, right? I love Mary DeMuth, and will have to check out Everything. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. Love books! You were blessed to have a mother who instilled such a love in you!

    I'd love for you to share this post on my Book Hop if you want, stop by whenever!


  4. Hi Gail, thanks for linking this beautiful post at Winsome Wednesday. I too love books but really have gotten out of the habit of actually sitting down and reading one. You have encouraged me to do so
    God bless and look forward to seeing you there again next week

    1. I know what you mean, Tracy. I read so much on the internet now, plus my Kindle. But there is such joy in turning pages, and just the "feel" of a book in my hands.

  5. I love books too. It was fun reading your story. Most of my books are in storage and I miss them. Sounds funny but I bet you understand.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a Blessed Friday,

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts & feelings :)

  7. Gail, we are kindred spirits! I wrote a sister post to yours called "I Cannot Live without Books!" I'd love for you to stop by Be Not Weary and check it out. Long ago my husband realized that to turn me loose in a clothing store with a credit card was safe, but never, never turn his back on me in a book store. I'm like the dog lover who goes to the pound -- "I want to take them all home!!" Blessings to you today.

    1. I will definately stop by and check it out. I laughed about your comment, because I'm definately a kindred spirit. I have books galore.

  8. I love this place. Books packed on all the shelves. I could see myself lost in Chamblin Book Mine for hours. Have never been to Jacksonville...not even sure where it is but wow....and loved reading about your love of books.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Gail-Friends and leaving your sweet comment.

      Chamblin book store is in Jacksonville, Florida, which is in the north east corner of the state near the Georgia line and the east coast.

      If you ever get to Jax, I hope you'll have the pleasure of visiting it.

  9. We love books, too! My husband and I love to go on dates to the used book store (romantic, I know!). :)

    Thank you so much for sharing this at Artful Tuesdays!

  10. You are speaking my language, girl! I, too, was taught the love of reading by my mother. You could trace my life in the path of the books I read. Right now I'm reading lots of books on "Less" and "Downsizing" since that's where I am in my life. Love this post!

  11. I try downsizing my no avail. Some are like friends that give me great joy.


Thank you so much for stopping by today and taking the time to leave a comment! I read each one of them and love to respond back to those who visit! Blessings to you.