Writers and readers love to collect books. Nowadays many of our bookshelves are tucked away in an e-reader or online, like mine at goodreads.com.
That digital display is fun, but nothing lifts my spirit like gazing at a roomful of books.
Clearly, I'm not alone. There's even a Facebook page titled bookshelf porn. (Don't worry, it's G-rated!) And have you seen Neil Gaiman's library?
While I'm still a heavy library user, and swapping books is green and generous, there are some books I just want to own for keeps. I loved The Book Thief so much, I was tempted to carry it about my day, hugging it close. Six months ago, I loaned The Amazing Adventures of Kevalier and Clay to my dad. He still hasn't read it, and I'm itching for its return to my shelves. The Hunger Games Trilogy has been circulating among my friends for so many months, I'm tempted to buy another set. Jennifer Donnelly's award winning novel, A Northern Light, and her latest, Revolution, inspire me to take risks with my writing. And those huge Harry Potter books... They bring me so much joy, I have them scattered throughout the house.
My bungalow in Oakland, California had built-in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace. When we moved to Michigan, I needed to buy a bookcase. My husband suggested our new bookshelves should hold more art, fewer books. Say what? Books are art.
Have you ever walked into someone's house and felt an instant kinship at the sight of their bookcase? The first time I visited the apartment of my friend, Joyce, I discovered we had all the same books, from Reviving Ophelia to The Color Purple, from Margaret Atwood to Barbara Kingsolver. Ten years later and living across country, we email to share new book finds. Her latest recommendation was A Short History of Women. It was already on my shelf.
So what's the take-away from this post? I haven't imparted any wise advice like my blog partners. How about I send you away with a free book?
To support Teen Literature Day last week, readergirlz promoted the Rock the Drop event. People were encouraged to drop a book in a public place - a coffee shop, the subway - for lucky readers to find. Years ago, I was delighted to discover a book left on a park bench, with a note tucked inside, encouraging me to read, then share. That book is long gone, but I'd love to share one of my recent favorites with you.
Here's what you need to do to win a free book:
1. Become a follower of this blog (click the Follow button if you haven't already done so).
2. Post a comment below, by April 29th.
I'll randomly choose one lucky commenter. The book will be new and YA, but otherwise it's a surprise - you'll just have to trust me.
*Note: some readers have had difficulty posting their comments. If it doesn't work for you, just send me an email at kristinbartleylenz at gmail dot com. I'll post your comment for you, and enter you in the drawing for a free book.
*Thanks to my friend, Todd Abrams, for the Books Are Art photo.