Terry Gross interviews author Penelope Lively about her collection of over 3,000 books:

GROSS: So, here’s my question: Like, why hold on to all those books?  I mean, it’s just – it’s way too much stuff. And you’re not going to be able to reread all those books. So what’s your answer for why it’s worth holding onto them…?

LIVELY: Ah, well, that’s an important question, and there’s a very good answer to that. It’s that simply that they chart my life. … They chart everything that I’ve been interested in and thought about for the whole of my reading life. So, if they went, I would, in a sense, lose a sense of identity. They identify me.

I’ve got, certainly, a sort of basic shelf of my own old childhood books, and I would go back to those from time to time. If I happened to be in that room, I would pull one down and remember, you know…

There’s a wonderful retelling of Greek mythology called “Tales from Greece and Rome,” Andrew Lang. It’s sort of a late 19th-century retelling of Greek mythology, with all the stories of Troy. And I reveled in that when I was a sort of nine, 10-year-old, and I still sometimes pick that up and look at it again…

It’s Friday…what will that old book of tales tell you this weekend?

[The recording of the interview is here…and the transcript is here…but do listen to her wonderful voice…]

first readerFirst Reader
John George Brown (1891)
Painting – oil on canvas

[h/t to Biblioklept for the image…]

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