Friday, January 1, 2010


Life is a story and we are always retelling our part of the never-ending tale. If someone catches us at it they may call it a lie. But we know better - the true tale, worth telling, resides in another realm, one within the imaginings.

So maybe, life isn't real, but a series of books on a library shelf, located somewhere in the heavens. Could be: think about it.

I have loved books my whole life. I am a voracious reader and have accumulated over 2,000 books in my library. A few are worth sharing. Some deserve to be hoarded and kept for posterity as long as their molecules hold together. Others are for pure entertainment. Many are full of important knowledge.

I revel in my library.

I begin now a Post which will be focused on books. Particularly the ones which have endured in my heart and have added a layer to my life.

The author I chose today is: Louisa May Alcott, a woman of such integrity and enduring stamina that she should be any girl's hero. Let me find something to tell you about her. I have something in my library. . .

Here is a link to a pretty concise biography of this lovely lady.

Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832-1888 in Philadelphia. She never went to school but was well educated at home by her father, Bronson Alcott. Her father was a Transcendentalist Philosopher and Educator and ran a small school of his own for a short while. Some of the close family friends who were a strong influence on Alcott were, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne; all worthy of emulation.
The Alcotts lived a hard scrabble life and moved often. Louisa May Alcott took many menial jobs to help support her family during these hard times. These jobs included being a servant, seamstress, and nurse during the Civil War, much to the detriment of her health. She became an advocate of abolition, women's rights and temperance. Her big break came when "Little Women" was published in 1868, a story about her family during her childhood. She continued to publish a book a year until her death in 1888.

I remember when I was given an ancient copy of "Little Women" when I was eleven. I loved the smell of old books and would bury my nose deep into their pages until I had absorbed as much fragrance  and other worldly essence as I could stand. Then I would read. First sniff. Then engorge on the colors and details of a well told story. My brain would race with mental pictures to accompany these tales and I had a vivid imagination which holds true today.

Although I had been an avid reader since the day I could hold a book, and had a real strong desire to read every book in the public library, I had never fallen so hard for a book as I fell for this one. To this day, this book is my love. I have her stashed carefully away in safekeeping, her pages fallen in disarray and her cover scuffed and abused. I took her out today to look at her, but put her back for fear of any more damage. Sadly the incense is also gone but the memory of it is so strong that it will never fade away from my mind.

I did want to include a couple of covers from my collection of children's books. These two are from my Louisa May Alcott collection, both of which I also owned as a child:

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