|Well, maybe not this many|
Last year in January I read this in The Writer’s Almanac on the 16th:
It’s the birthday of novelist, essayist, and cultural critic Susan Sontag (books by this author), born Susan Rosenblatt in New York City (1933). She grew up in Tucson and Los Angeles. She was a voracious reader from the age of three, and the first book she remembered being thrilled by was Madame Curie, which she read when she was six. She remembered lying in bed as a child and gazing at her bookcase: “It was like looking at my 50 friends. A book was like stepping through a mirror. I could go somewhere else. Each one was a door to a whole kingdom.”
Fifty friends – oh, more than fifty! Books have been a necessity for me, like love and food, since I was aware of them and able to hold them. I’ve had many books given to me, and I’ve spent a tidy sum on books ever since I had the means to do so. It follows that I’ve also given away many, many of them. I’ve had only so much room in the homes where I’ve lived over the years. There are also a few real treasures that have “grown legs” over the years, and I do miss them terribly. But my very old-time friends are still on my shelves. Just a passing glance at one of their spines brings the whole story back to me in an instant. The flavor of the book runs a quick video through my memory. I can’t say the same happens when I see some of the newer books on my shelves. Old Friends are the best friends.