I am a book lover, pure and simple. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t smitten by the pleasures of reading or comforted by the presence of books. When I walk around our house, I see the history of our interests in the titles that line the shelves. I can’t imagine how empty life would be without the company of those books, and I’m continually grateful for how rich it’s been because of them. We have valued books, Chuck and I, and after 44 years of marriage, they surround us. We trimmed the fat when we moved here four years ago, carting boxes of books to Goodwill. But then we kept on living and being curious, wanting to read the next thing. Chuck reads a lot on Kindle, so that helps the storage issue. I tried, but I couldn’t keep it up. I read everything with a pen in my hand, fiction or non-fiction, underlining sentences and marking whole paragraphs. When I need to find those words again, I’m glad for the ease of locating the physical book and flipping through its pages. But also, I just like having them around. Life feels infinitely more interesting with books in the room.