The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Letizia

Life. The word itself astounds me. It encompasses too many beautiful things all at once and often I find myself staring at the word whenever I write it, too mesmerized by its brilliance. A life enthusiast is one who recognizes life’s simplicities and extremities, and loves them without fail.

Last month Jessica over at Notes of Nomads kicked off my new monthly guest series…The Life Enthusiast Chronicles. In these posts, lovely individuals share what makes them all gung ho about life. 

Today we have Letizia, a blogger pal of mine over at Reading Interrupted. Letizia is one of those beautiful soul kinds, where everything she brings to the table is peppered with grace and good. Her love for reading inspires the rest of us to not only continue being awe-inspired by stories, but to marvel at the books themselves with their perfectly tattered beauty. All of this makes Letizia a shining example of a life enthusiast.

Connect with Letizia at Reading Interrupted on Twitter.

Take it away, Letizia…

Home is where the books are.

When Britt generously asked me to write about an aspect of life that makes me enthusiastic, I immediately thought of reading books; it’s one of the greatest passions of my life.

And as I gazed at my bookshelves for inspiration, I thought of how many of those books had traveled with me throughout my life and through my many international moves.  And I also thought of those books that didn’t quite make the cut.

Those of you who have moved an extensive library know that there’s always a culling process that occurs:  books you don’t know why you own in the first place, books you mysteriously own several copies of, books you think you will never reread or miss (I tend to regret getting rid of these, searching for them months later in a sudden realization that I must reread them at once).  You offer them to friends, you sell them to the secondhand bookstores, you donate them to the local library.

And all of the others?  These are packed in cardboard boxes and taken away with the furniture to be placed on great ships that will brave the open seas.

Here is one of my childhood dogs, getting ready for a move. I wonder if one of those boxes contain books?

Patinha the dog

And then the wait begins.  Wondering where the books are now, wondering when exactly they will arrive.

And then they do!  Of course, I’m happy to see the furniture, but …. the books… where are they?…. There they are!

Opening those boxes is like opening all of your favorite Christmas presents from the past years in one sitting:  every item is so familiar and loved yet new and exciting at the same time!

My childhood copy of The Otter’s Tale by Gavin Maxwell:

IMG_0153

My university copy of James Joyce’s Dubliners worn from rereading over the years:

IMG_0154

Rediscovering all my books reminds me of how much I love to read but also grounds me.  Each book is like a snapshot of my life, reminding me of memories past but with each new reading creating new ones.

The books make each new house a home. It’s hard not to get enthusiastic about that.

Thanks for reminding me of this, Britt.

54 thoughts on “The Life Enthusiast Chronicles with Letizia

  1. As much as I love books, I’ve been trying to limit my accumulation of them more recently. Between my husband and I we have so many. But as you mention, it can be difficult to know which ones to keep and which ones to donate. I don’t really reread books, so it shouldn’t be so difficult for me. And yet it is…

      1. I’m going through this book torture myself right now. So many books, so little apartment. Half are packed away or stuffed in odd corners. If people are over, they have to duck and cover at times. It rains books occasionally around here!

  2. Thanks again for inviting me to be a part of your beautiful blog, Britt, and for your lovely words. You always inspire me with your passion, humor, and kindness!

  3. Books have always brought me great joy, too. There are some I’ve kept, and will continue to keep forever. I don’t mind clearing out my shelves sometimes, but they’re instantly filled again. But hey- if that’s my worst vice, so be it!

  4. I, too, love books, Letizia! You have seen the evidence. And while I know, like Carrie, that I have too many books (say it isn’t so!), I cannot bring myself to stop accumulating them. I have every intention of spending some quality time at the local bookstore up the hill, picking out books for my husband, son, in-laws, and other family members for Christmas. And I will enjoy every minute of it! Cheers!

    Thanks, Britt, for spreading enthusiasm across the miles!

    1. Books make the best gifts. I hope you receive some too (too often the curse of the book lover is that people are afraid they have ‘read everything’ and don’t dare offer them books). I knew you would identify with this post, Jilanne. Just don’t get buried under all of your books!

  5. Lovely Letizia. Thanks for asking her to share Britt. I have given away almost every book I have ever owed(except poetry), and yes, often regret it. But I do experience something like this when I bring home my bag of books every six months form the US. It is a grand moment 🙂

    1. I like that you make an exception for your books of poetry.
      I can just imagine your delight when you open up that bag when you get home from the U.S.!

  6. When my husband and I went through our phase of wanting to sail, we massed a huge collection on the subject including high adventures on the seas. Sadly, we never sailed, but through the books we traversed the high seas and had the adventure of our lives. We just held a book sale/yard sale at our home recently and sold off most of the books, which found homes with sailing couples willing to share their boating adventures with us. I admire your love for the written word and what it means to you. Thanks for sharing, Letzia.

    1. I love that the books brought you many seafaring adventures as well as connecting you to other sailing stories through the new owners of your books: that is so beautiful.

  7. This really made me smile. There are some books that I’ll never part with, even if they’re torn and ragged or possibly even chewed by a dog (one of my childhood dogs looked a lot like yours and that was the book chewer). I love rereading books and so I end up doing frantic searches for them too. It’s always fun to think back to the person you were when you first read that book and if things have changed enough to look at it all in a different light. Thank you for inspiring me to look through those books again!

    1. Those ragged, chewed up books end up being my favorite in a way; each rip (or bite mark!) evidence of a special time in life. It’s true that when you reread a book you can think about the first – or last- time you read that book and who you were and what you thought of that book. It’s a fascinating experience. So glad you enjoyed the post, Sheila!

  8. As an English teacher and bibliophile himself, I can certainly appreciate your love of books. SOmetimes I walk into a bookstore and want to buy them all and ultimately feel sad that I know that I will read few of them. Anyway, it’s cool that you have books from back in your childhood that were special to you then. They must bring up some great memories.

    1. Thanks, Larry. That feeling of wanting to buy every book in the bookstore is so strong. The used bookstores are the worst. 50c? Yes, I’ll take 5 books, thank you!

  9. HI Letizia,
    You said this so well! I haven’t moved in so long that I have accumulated a lifetime of reading. For me, that is as good as money in the bank. I haven’t yet bitten the bullet to get a Nook or a Kindle. There is nothing like running your fingers over the pages of a book, or flipping back to reread a passage.

  10. Oh the memories your post triggers; the years spent traipsing from post to post with boxes and boxes of books . Most of shipping allowance was consumed by books. I cursed them sometimes but now in my quieter years, my stay at home years, I am so glad to have these faithful friends on my shelves and a few new ones. Some of these books have been in the family for nearly a hundred years now and have been travelling almost as long.

    1. How wonderful that you made the wise decision to spend the shipping allowance on them (money well spent!). I love the fact that some of your books are quite old and have been traveling for most of their existence. Ah, the stories they could tell; ha ha!

    1. Each story has my tiny (the margin are small), nearly illegible (I wrote in pencil for some reason) notes and reactions throughout. I recently reread ‘The Sisters’ – fell in love with Joyce all over again. Definitely worth picking up again!

  11. Lovely post, Letizia! There’s just something about books, isn’t there?! Travelling a lot also, I have had to let go of a lot of physical items including books. Luckily we now have e-books and audiobooks so we can enjoy them on the road without the added weight. Although there is just something awesome about the feel of well-loved book. Hope this is something we never lose in spite of technological advancements.

    1. Yes, I can’t imagine the two of you carting your book collections behind you as you travel the globe; that would be a bit cumbersome! Although that’s a cute image…

  12. Books lure me everywhere I go. Anytime I walk past a bookshop, I have to stop in, if nothing more than to just smell it! I haven’t been able to buy as many books over the years for various reasons. I did make a promise to myself that I would only buy a book (a real one, not an e-book) if I know it’s one that I would read more than once. That way, I never have to worry about throwing any away. This has made my decisions on whether to buy a book much easier.

    1. The smell of a bookstore – so intoxicating, I agree! Your rule is interesting and makes a lot of sense. I think, subconsciously, I choose them this way as well. I’ll be thinking of you next time I buy a book!

  13. I have far too many books. Occasionally there will be a cull, but I’m still left with all those that I might re-read one day or need for reference. You talk very eloquently about the love of books and the hold they can have over you. And thank you Britt for another in this great series!

    1. It’s good to cull once in a while, to leave room for more books. And I find it’s a great way to get re-acquainted with one’s books (finding old, hidden gems). “Too many books” – never such a thing!

  14. A wonderful, wonderful post!!!

    Books have always been my true and loyal friends. They have challenged me to think differently and encouraged me to be open to all possibilities. I remember the day I first read “Green Eggs & Ham.” And then I cried through “Gone With The Wind,” I was 15 when I first meet C.S. Lewis and his pal, “J.R.R. Tolkien. They have been by my side through the decades.

    “The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can,
    Pursuing it with eager feet,
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

    1. Oh, Rebecca, I love that you brought us on your own journey – your own road – of books. I love that you remember reading “Green Eggs and Ham” for the first time. What wonderful traveling companions these books have been. Thank you, as ever, for your lovely words!

      1. You reminded me of my favourite Dr. Seuss quote:

        “You’re off to Great Places!
        Today is your day!
        Your mountain is waiting,
        So… get on your way!”
        ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

  15. This was a lovely post; it’s nice to know what you’re enthusiastic about, Letizia… though, given your blog posts, it’s not difficult to guess. 😉 I agree with you about rediscovering books. Sometimes I am so engrossed in my new books that when I revisit my old ones I’m overcome with such a feeling of nostalgia.

    1. Letizia did such an awesome job. Her piece gave me goosebumps when I read it, because I feel overwhelmed with nostalgia as well when visiting my oldies. Such a great feeling.

  16. What would life be without reading adventures of the mind? Reading is ingrained into my life and I read books to learn, to see, to feel and be carried away. Wonderful post, Letizia! And a great site you’ve recommended.

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