Tuesday, November 29, 2011


So, an update on the packing . . .

I decided to pack the bookcases in the living room first.  They are (were) full of books, pictures, & knick-knacks, & I thought they would be the most time consuming to box up.  I did get everything off of them & into boxes last week, but not without getting sidetracked more than once by their contents.

In one of the communication courses I taught when I worked at ULM, there was an entire chapter in our text on nonverbal communication.  One of the things I always discussed at length in this chapter is the term 'artifacts.'  In the realm of nonverbal communication, artifacts is a fancy way to say "people's stuff."  Remember when you first started dating someone & you were eager to see where they lived?  A primary reason for this is because you can learn a lot about a person from their belongings, & books are a treasure trove.  You may look to see if they have a Bible, or note that they share your affinity for Hemingway.  You may take a step back if you see Obama's The Audacity of Hope or anything by Al Gore.  Perhaps you give the person a chance to explain that the book was a gift.  People's things speak volumes about them, thus the inclusion of the concept of 'artifacts' in the nonverbal communication chapter.  The choices we make, from the clothes we wear to the movies we love to the books we read, say something about us.

I've been resistant to get a Kindle or other electronic device that allows you to download what you want to read.  I like books.  When I read, I highlight & make notes.  I've been told you can do these things on a Kindle, but, I prefer books, & I was reminded of why last Monday as I pulled book after book off the three bookcases that line the back wall of our living room.

This book belongs to my dad.  If you know him, he's probably recommended it to you (if he suggested you read The Librarian, he was actually recommending this book as he tends to get the title wrong).  This is on my reading list.  Ms. Kostova should cut him a check for advertising her work:

Other goodies I packed away:


If best-selling conservative authors make you cringe, abort this blog now.

My fun little obsessions:

So that Reagan will know that one day, a long, looong time ago, before he was the godfather, Marlon Brando was a hunk:

These are a  few of the paperbacks I read in high school.  I smiled as I packed these books into boxes I got from my friend Ashley who labored with me through four years of honors English in high school:

While at Louisiana College, Trey & I took Shakespeare together.  I was an English major & he was an English minor, but I guess we hadn't had enough college at the time to figure out that we should share a copy of The Norton Shakespeare, which probably cost around $75 at the time.  Thanks, dads!

The packing ceased for awhile as I flipped through our wedding album.  I have digital copies of every picture the photographer took that day, but I love thumbing through this album:

Two of the shelves were full of old, old books.  They all belonged to my grandfather, Dadoo, another English major.  Some of them he used while a student at Vanderbilt.  

Some of them belonged to Dadoo's mother, Reagan's great great grandmother, whose maiden name, Alma Meyer, is inscribed inside the cover of several of the books:

I put these books in their own box and labelled them with their new destination:

Reagan enjoyed the packing as well:

Her first encounter with bubble wrap:

So, I will point out the irony that may've already crossed your mind as you read, the fact that I am blogging online about shunning a Kindle because I adore books.  I am at present working on printing this blog for Reagan, which was was my intent when I began blogging.  I'm using a site called Blog2Print, which supports blogs from Blogger, WordPress, & TypePad.  I thought printing the whole thing might be a bit costly since I tend to be verbose, but as it turns out words don't cost that much to print, but color pictures do.  It gives new meaning to the old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words."

I think I will wait until after Reagan's Aunt Jessica marries on New Year's Eve, & then I'll print my blogs from this past year.  So, years from now, Reagan might be packing up her room to leave for college, or packing up the starter home where she & her husband became a family, & she'll pull a book off the shelf & smile when she sees her baby picture on the cover.  She'll take a break from packing to flip through the pages & read about her first year of life, what her mama was thinking & feeling when she was 4, 5, & 6 months old, where she went on her first road trip, & what she wore to church her first Easter Sunday.  She'll look at pictures of her daddy's smiling face when we greeted him at the airport after his first long trip away from his baby girl.  She'll roll her eyes at her mother's odd obsession with the Twilight books, & maybe note that her mom has aged well and barely looks a day older than 30.  Then, she'll notice an old book on the shelf & open it to find notes scribbled in the margin in her great grandfather's handwriting.

That's why I like books.  


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