True Confessions of a Book Lover

I love books. If I had to write a sonnet, I would count the ways I love books in it. My mother was a librarian, and even in a librarian’s house, I sometimes had to hide my reading of books under the covers with a flashlight after bedtime.

Just one of Madelyn's libraries  
Madelyn's downstairs weaving library 

I love the way books look, I love how a book feels in my hands, and I especially love to see books in tidy (or untidy) rows on shelves. Some of the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever spent time in have been libraries, even the ones in my own house. I had a hard time studying in the library at UC Berkeley when I was a student there because I loved looking at the tall shelves of books that framed giant circular windows and listening to the sounds of turning pages.

These are probably famous last words, but I can’t imagine preferring to read a book on my iPad to holding a book in my hand.

  The Weaver's Companion
Madelyn keeps her copy of The Weaver's 

Companion handy in every library and soon
will have it handy on her computer as well 

However, I can’t help observing my recent behavior. For the last year or so, I’ve noticed a new trait. I’ll be editing an article and I’ll suddenly need to add a book to the bibliography—Clotilde Barrett’s book on Shadow Weave, say. I have that book in my weaving library (my libraries are divided into upstairs weaving library, downstairs weaving library, fiction, and nonfiction). My upstairs weaving library is about fifteen feet away from my desk. All I have to do is get up, walk the fifteen feet, pull the book off my shelf, and open it up. It’s easy to find, of course, because all my books are arranged in alphabetical order by author. (It’s the least I can do for them.)

But do I walk over there? No. I Google “Clotilde Barrett shadow weave” and endure some irritation because the publisher and copyright date don’t show up on Google’s first page. I do locate the information I’m looking for, though, with a couple more clicks. More and more, I’m finding it useful to get the information I have in my perfectly good books online. This doesn’t change my love of books, but my way of looking for information seems to be changing.

One weaving book that I have always kept at my right hand (on my desk, next to a loom, wherever I am doing a task related to weaving or editing) is The Weaver’s Companion. I refer to several sections particularly often: its weights and conversions charts, its sett charts, its yarn identification info, and more. I own two copies, an upstairs copy and a downstairs copy. I’ve just learned that this book is now available, along with other Interweave books, in digital form. This will be a real test for me. Will I click on it or will I reach for it and open it up? I think I’m going to want both options.



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Madelyn's Non-Fiction Library

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Madelyn's other non-fiction library

Madelyn's fiction library

Madelyn's non-fiction library

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