I am totally overwhelmed with the books I’ve bought in the last few weeks. It’s like a book fiend has taken over my body. Yesterday Sandy and I did a big purge of books to take to Ed McKay’s today, so I could get my new stacks of books off the floor and onto shelves.

Some of these new stacks are of old books. For example, when I visited Mama a few weeks ago, I snagged the 1952 set of World Book encyclopedias, which I’m sure made me the geography trivia whiz that I am today. If today was in 1952. I always had my nose in these encyclopedias, and they meant nothing to anyone but me.

I also brought back my much beloved copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, spine well creased from obsessive re-reading, and a copy of Treasure Island, which I never read but I found a piece of paper in it where I had made as many words as I could out of the words Treasure Island. I made up a lot of word games as a child out of these books and encyclopedias. I found my old stamp collection and a list I had made of “My Library,” which included such diversity as Huckleberry Finn, Flip Wilson Close-up, Steppenwolf, How to Write Codes and Send Secret Messages, and Gardening Indoors Under Lights. I doubt that I actually read Steppenwolf, but I may have given it a try. The librarians on the county bookmobile had a very hard time keeping up with me – I’d have finished my stack of books they picked out for me long before they came back in two weeks.

There was a real treasure trove of old books in the free section of Ed McKay’s for a few weeks. I’ve picked up a lot of old school books and other interesting books from the turn of the century up through the fifties. I have enough novels from the free section to last me two years. And, believe it or not, I had been hitting the library on a regular basis, but I’m going to give it a rest until I read some of what I have at home. I started reading Wendell Berry’s novels from the beginning, and that felt like going back in time to talk to relatives long gone.

Yesterday, Sandy and I went to Empire Books, where I never made it past the cookbook and arts and crafts section. Sandy found a perfect copy of my favorite artist Andy Goldsworthy’s Time for $18. I picked up a $4 copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, three wonderful craft books: Art Stamping Workshop, Beaded Crazy Quilting, and Paper into Pots, and a 1950 half autobiography/half cookbook called Love and Dishes, by Niccolo de Quattrociocchi, an Italian restauranteur in New York City. It has recipes from all the famous NYC restaurants of the time. I’m really looking forward to digging into this one.

It is a good thing that I don’t live closer to Empire Books. I might go broke. I really, really need new clothes but I spend all my money on books, art supplies, and good food. My priorities are pretty good but I might need to get a little more practical.

So, what started this post was a question from Moomin Light in the comments of the last post: What creativity books have I been reading? I mentioned Living the Creative Life, by Ricë Freeman-Zachery. I’m also reading her book Stamp Artistry.

I was already into The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, which I like but I’m going to wait until summer if I do the lessons.

Danny Gregory’s The Creative License is so incredible that I nearly have a panic attack each time I open it, but it’s next. I read his Everyday Matters last year, and I’m a lurker in the Everyday Matters Yahoo group.

In addition, I’m feeding my inner child and dreamer with Dan Price’s illustrated journal Radical Simplicity: Creating an Authentic Life. Because I spent a good part of my childhood winters building hide-outs and lean-tos and treehouses to read my books in.

I have Amazon links to these books in my pretend bookstore, if you’re interested in learning more or buying them. I’ll update it with my newest books later today.

Yes, I’ve been a book hound since I graduated. It is delicious.