They’re sitting there waiting on me. Books I want to read. I have them in stacks by my favorite chair and by the bed. Here’s their roll call:

Lord of the Rings trilogy (afraid of this one…why won’t I start….help me out, those of you who’ve read them); Thames, the biography; Art & Soul; Ottoline and the Yellow Cat; Horses: history, myth, art; London: the years of change; Sweat Your Prayers; Good Poems for hard times; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings; We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For; The River of Doubt; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; Visioning.

That’s just the stack by the chair. There are even more by the bed. When I travel, I have to take at least three books with me. And then I usually find something in the airport bookstore. I seldom read more than two of the books I bring….one always on the plane. I’ve thought about that. Why don’t I just look at the people and maybe engage? There might be something interesting I’d learn. But I can’t not read a book on a plane. And then the book gets me through the sleepless nights when I travel. And the others––they’re for security. I have to have a stack wherever I am. Sony Reader, Kindle, IPad….what about us stackers? Maybe a virtual stack is just as comforting. Is it? You tell me.

And then I have my fall back: Georgette Heyer’s regency novels. They comfort me when nothing else can. I know all the plots by heart. I don’t care. She’s never stale to me. She’s my pacifier.

What’s in a stack by your bed or chair?  It probably doesn’t matter if we ever read them, does it? It’s all about the stack. Wonder why….


9 responses to “stack

  1. Sally Isenberg

    Hi, Karleen, I love my stacks and I know what you mean. Our friend, AB, calls my study the B & N Annex.When I was working, I collected many, still unread, books related to my profession. It reassurred me to know the answer to any question was right at my fingertips. I’ve been wanting to reread Lord of the Rings for years. It’s so wonderful but so daunting. A couple weeks ago, you mentioned Pentimento. I still have it and want to reread it because it’s been years and the same with The Summer Before the Dark by Doris Lessing. I’ve been on a Kingsolver kick having just finished The Lacuna. I recommend adding that to your stack. It’s very powerful with drama and history and her writing is genius. I recommend moving River of Doubt to the top of the stack. It’s a more riveting adventure than any fictional one. Books are great rescuers.

    Thankyou, Sally

  2. Sometimes I buy books based on title alone. There is a book that came out in Canada that is supposed to be very, very good called “A Colony of Unrequited Dreams”. I never did get around to reading that but I love the title. 🙂

  3. Just finished reading Now Face to Face and have moved on to Philippa Gregory while I wait for your new one. (Yay!) So those are stacked. I’m also a school librarian, so I have a bunch of books for Battle of the Books to read, including Masterpiece by Elise Broach, Poppy by Avi, and Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith. Add to that Austen and Bronte (my Georgette Heyer), and a whole slew of books on my Goodreads shelf. Never gonna get done.

  4. Oh, I forgot. You absolutely have to read Lord of the Rings. It’s a can’t miss, and I will cry if you don’t.

  5. Lord of the Rings– I was scared of it too. ‘What if its just not for me?’ but it sucked me in… Its easy (and delightful) to get caught up in that world.

    I’m a person of stacks too. As I have a tiny apt. I do dream of kindle or some other reader, but in the meantime– currently reading After Ecstasy the Laundry by Jack Kornfield. Others in this room’s stack: Anastasia, the Unfolding Now by A.H. Almass, Essays by Wallace Shawn, Away by Amy Bloom, The Plague of Doves by Lousie Erdrich…

    I’ve given myself a moratorium on bookstores for the time being, but I keep finding interesting books on the street! Today its a yearling children’s chapter book called Elmer and the Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett.

    My pacifier is anything by Jane Austen.

  6. I read Lord of the Ring Trilogy back in the 70s and can still remember some of the images with great clarity. And many of the characters came to life with the movies. I didn’t go see the movies–that’s how powerful the books are–I didn’t want to inpinge otherpeople’s ideas on my own visions.
    Move the trilogy to the top of the stack! It’s worth it.

    Not only do I have a stack on my nightstand and under it, I consider as stacks those books on the shelf I read long ago and would love to re-read. But when? . . .

  7. Dear Karleen

    Yes I need a stack too in the headboard. But mine right now looks very feeble compared to yours and your friends’. There is a thin Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee that I picked up this time in Houston. And New Writing in India by Adil Jusswalla. New is a misnomer since it was published way back in 1974. Yet to finish it. And then there is a hefty Anthology of Soviet Short stories and oh are they realistic. One big tome is the Readers Digest Is it harmful Is it healthy? One or two pages a day makes you think about what might happen to your body.

    And I love Heyer. Though my pacifier is Emily Bronte’s poems, esp on death.

    Ah, yes meditation keeps you on track

  8. Karleen,

    A good friend of mine years ago coached me on how to approach reading the voluminous epic novel “The Lord of the Rings.” Her advice was wise: work through the first 90 or 10o pages, which may seem a bit dry and filled with background (from “The Hobbit”) and then be prepared for the story to take off rapidly with action and mystery.

    I read this book a chapter each night for months as I was going through a really rough time in my life. I found the story and characters to be inspiring. I wanted to know how the story ends, but I did not want the story to end. It remains among my favorite stories.

    So, take the plunge. You will be glad you did.

  9. Oh, I love my virtual stack of books on my Kindle. To me that’s even more satisfying than the shelves and drawers full of books I used to cherish. I feel so secure (think old nightshirt, cozy robe kind of secure) with lots and lots of books I’ve been collecting on my Kindle for almost two years now. I’m happiest perusing the virtual pages and glimpsing a huge TBR pile/list. I love my Kindle!!!

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