I will never forget my first good friend, Robin Irene. I met up with her at recess every day so that we could share stories. I never tired of the tales she would tell. I was especially mesmerized by the stories of her life as a princess and her friend, Morgan... who was a unicorn.
As I grew older Laura Ingalls became my closest friend and we endured all sorts of trials together; braids, buck teeth, bullies and moving to a place that was new and unfamiliar. It was wonderful to have someone who understood.
The list of book-friends I have made over the years is endless, but this is where my love for books and the friends I have made within their pages began.
However, this also presented a problem throughout my life. The books themselves had become precious possessions and I could not part with them. When we would move from place to place, my collection of books always came with me and it continued to grow throughout my teenage years.
By the time I was ready to set off on my own, I had nearly 7 good sized cardboard boxes filled with these old friends and I had to leave them behind for lack of room. I placed them in a corner of my parent's storage room along with a few other things and promised to come back for them soon.
When I returned home that summer, my friends were gone. Some sold at a yard sale, the rest donated to a thrift store along with the other items I had left behind. And so I began again, making new friends as I had the time and keeping them in a small bookshelf fashioned from crates.
When I married and started having children I could not wait to share these friends with my family. I slowly began to acquire the books I had loved as a child and loved seeing my kids enjoy them as I had. Again, this presented a problem. After nine kids and eighteen years of collecting, where could we keep so many books?
My husband, who has an amazing talent for woodworking, determined that we needed a library. (You see why I love this man?) He set about turning our front room into a thing of beauty for lounging in and reading to our hearts' content. The room is finished, except for one thing... the bookshelves.
The shelves will be built and line the walls of our library room before too long, but for the time being we have our books, boxed and waiting, in here:
A few years back Allen made the older kids some nice cabinets in which to store the things they wanted to keep out of the reach of their littler brothers and sisters. What do they keep in them?
Books also adorn their dressers, our kitchen counters, a few shelves in the hall closet and even our tables.
Some may call us crazy, but I agree with these words from Henry Ward Beecher:
"Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house."