A room without books is like a body without a soul.Marcus Tullius Cicero
I recently came across the French word, bibliotheque (library). In a home, a library is not the same as shelves of books. One might see shelves as simply a place to store books. They become a library when they reflect who you are. I have books shelved in our dining area. Unconsciously, I may have chosen this location because, for me, reading is as important as eating. In placing bookshelves in a very public area of our home, I don’t know that I gave much thought to the statement those books make.
If you consider it, what you choose to read says a great deal about who you are. In, “Home Sweet Mason: The French Art of Making a Home” Danielle Postel-Yinay writes, “In Paris it’s better to talk about the book you read last weekend than to show off you Rolex.” I would like to think that’s the case in America, maybe that’s overly optimistic. I do believe good taste has little to do with what watch you own and more to do with how you choose to live you life.
With this in mind, I’ve put more thought into the books I add to my library. I hope that instead of just filling a shelf, they will be a represent who I am. I often collect a series of books by a particular author because I enjoy their writing and want to read them over and over. Each reading brings something new. Most important, I think we should surround ourselves with what we love.