There's nothing like a good book. I will admit that I am a bit of a book hoarder. Our bookshelves are full of a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction, but there are two subjects that dominate the non-fiction shelves: cookbooks and "outdoors" books. The outdoors books cover gardening, homesteading and home building, most of the Foxfire series, field guides of all sorts, and natural history and nature-related books.
I love the public library, and I have no problem borrowing books from it, but some books I feel I must just own. Books I think I might need to reference at some point. Books I think or know I would want to write in. Books that I will read over and over. You get the picture.
Needless to say, I was very excited when my most recent Amazon order arrived bearing more books for my collection. I had had my eye on one of them for a few months, but those wily folks at Amazon and their "Customers who bought this item also bought" list showed me a few other books that piqued my interest. I mean, The Singing Life of Birds - how could I pass that up?
The problem is, I've got a bazillion other books that I've purchased in the last 6-8 months along the same lines that I still haven't finished, or even started for that matter. Last Child in the Woods (Richard Louv). Silent Spring (Rachel Carson). Cuckoos, Cowbirds and Other Cheats (N.B. Davies). One book I did manage to finish recently is Scott Weidensaul's Of a Feather: A Brief History of American Birding. The book taught me a lot and made me reflect more deeply on the different aspects of the growing hobby of birding.
When it comes down to it, these books are in my personal library to help me increase my knowledge base, be it of the natural world or in the kitchen. If I can interpret a habitat and know what grows there and why and who benefits from the flora, or if I can know what to use as a substitution when I run out of milk for that muffin I'm making, then those books made a difference. In their own way they opened up my world view just a little bit more.
What about you - what are you reading these days? What's your favorite work of fiction? Non-fiction? How many books do you own that are still waiting to be read? (Please tell me I'm not alone in this situation!)