I've always been a voracious reader. Before the interwebz took over the world, I read a whole lot more than I did now. I still read, but I am trying to carve out at least an hour in each day to sit down and lose myself in a book.

4 newspapers a day, various magazines, and I always had a book or three in progress. I'm one of those that can read several different books at a time. My favorites are autobiographies, crime and pretty much anything by Stephen King and Tami Hoag. I also adore Eudora Welty and John Grisham, both Mississippi authors.

When I was stateside in Poplarville in the summertime, I would ride my bike to the library and fill my basket up with books. One or two summers I won the little award they gave out for finishing all of the books on the summer reading list.

Life, work and the internet came along and changed many of my habits. I still read books, and there are certain magazines that I still read in print including National Geographic, Southern Living, various nerdy magazines and Wired.

This is my current reading stack, followed by my next stack. I really don't try to group them in any particular way, it just seems like I always have at least one autobiography and one travel book in whatever pile I'm working on at a time.


My love of reading was instilled in me by my paternal grandfather as well as my mom and dad. My grandfather always read the Wall Street Journal and the New Orleans Times-Picayune every morning with his coffee. As I got older he would have me read one article from each section to him , not only to improve my reading and speaking skills, but to foster my interest in current events.

My grandfather was a Commander in the U.S. Navy, and after he left the service he worked for the government and for the Liberia Corporation, who owned many rubber tree plantations (they provided materials to Firestone for tires) and land in and around Liberia, Africa. He hosted and entertained many dignitaries and heads of state, but the person who I was most fascinated to hear about??

Yes, that says Charles Lindbergh. That is a first edition autographed copy of The Spirit of St. Louis, given to my Papaw by the man himself. He was a frequent guest at my grandparent's estate, and I wish I could remember half of the stories they told me about him. And I would give anything to have the pictures that Camille destroyed.

Every time my grandmother would see someone wearing seersucker fabric, she would tell me the same Mr. Lindbergh wore a seersucker suit and washed it in the tub every night and hung it up to dry before putting it back on the next day. Even today, when I see seersucker, I think of that.

My grandfather also ordered an entire set of classic books for me, yanno the leather bound ones with the gold leaf finish? I think he got one a month for several years. He wrote a personal message in each book up until his death. I know exactly which book was the last one he read and signed, because the next is blank. Here they are in what amounts to about 1/4 of my bookshelves....( they still smell like my grandparents house when I open them , like home)...

Here are some of my favorites....I will type out what they say under the ones that are hard to read......

This one above is The Sound and The Fury by William papaw wrote.... This is generally recognized as Faulkner's greatest book. I was attending "Ole Miss" in the fall of 1930 and I met Bill Faulkner who lived in Oxford. He was sitting on the curb on Main Street eating peanuts - two other football players and I were coming from practice. We stopped to talk to Faulkner who asked us to join him to eat peanuts. This was before he became famous. Love Papaw.

You are like the dawn in a yellow robe rising in the east out of the flowing ocean - "our sunshine."

There are more, but you get the idea. Sometimes I get sad when I open them up and read the words he wrote so long ago, and I wish I was the little pig-tailed girl with the yellow bike and basket full of books, riding home to show my Papaw what treasures I was to discover in their pages. But then I'm proud, and happy that I was blessed with such a wonderful person in my life that I still adore as much right this second as I did when I was that little girl.

Thanks Papaw. I love you.


Bubblewench said...

Great. I really needed that cry right before my 9am meeting!

I totally loved your books when I saw them on the shelves in your 'study'. I could have sat in that leather chair for hours and hours just looking at them and reading them.

Books are very special and I am glad you have such wonderful memories tied to them too.

Elaina M. Avalos said...

What a beautiful gift your Papaw gave you. I love the idea that he wrote in each one. I may have to do that for my kids someday.

I too am a voracious reader and I know that love of reading and books came from my mom and my father's mother.

Momza said...

The stuff of poetry and prose right there.
A loving grandfather passing on his love of words.
You have been blessed.

Elizabeth said...

Ah, now I'm all misty again. I hope you always remember what a great family you've been blessed with. I know you will, though, that's the kind of person you are. :)

On a side note, I was in a bookstore one day and I almost bought that Denis Leary book for you because I know how much you love him. :)

insertwittytitleheremomstired said...

How lucky you are to have such an amazing Papaw and wonderful memories of him. Your post awoke inside me the need to lose myself in books again.

TexasRaceLady said...

Kim, my grandfather did the same for me to foster my reading. Only with me, it was a set of Zane Grey.

I am a bibliophile to the nth degree. Like you, I'm comfortable with 3 or 4 different books going at the same time.

The one you have about Theodore Roosevelt looks very interesting. I'll have to find it.

Have you read a biography of Alice Roosevelt Longworth? That was some kind of woman ---


TexasRaceLady said...

As a followup ---

Stacy Cordery wrote the book about Alice that is really good.

T Lee said...

don't know if you had anyone tell you this, but for the second time now when i have looked at your blog page my computer has freaked out!! brought up the page over and over like 100 times and wouldn't stop...all viral like...had to completely shut down and restart!! i wrote comment on this post because the t-shirt one just sent my computer into meltdown?? no idea why...but, it has happened twice to me now. i am afraid to come to your blog page now.

Miss Britt said...

Kim, this is AMAZING. What an incredible gift your Papaw was and gave you.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

BeautifulWreck said...

What a fantastic gift your pawpaw gave you. I adore this post. Fantastic book collection. I hardly have time to read because of all these kids, but when I have surgery I plan on doing a lot of reading.

Kim said...

T Lee ... I'm sorry it's wonky for you...I'll see what I can do to fix it?? Anyone else having problems??

CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) said...

Wow, what a fantastic legacy Pawpaw left behind! I'm so inspired!
Your library is gorgeous!