Making A Case For Books, by Nadia Nichols
Among other things, I’m a writer, and like all writers, I love books. I like to hold them in my hands, turn the pages, slip bookmarks in before closing the cover as a pledge and a promise that I’ll soon return. Call me old fashioned, but I don't have a Kindle. (Yet.) Maybe that's because I live off-grid and have to count my kilowatts, but I enjoy the tactile relationship I have with my books. Books transport me to worlds beyond my imaginings. They educate. They entertain. They satisfy. And in the case of great romances (and what great book doesn’t have a great romance?) they bridge the gap between reality and reaching for the stars. So when the library at UMFK started a major culling this summer in order to empty out a former library room full of books and turn it into a student meeting area, I made it my impossible goal to rescue them all from the shredder. I did my best. I filled my truck and ferried hundreds home, stacked them in my house until my pack of sled dogs and I could barely move around. Hard cover avalanches became a common navigational hazard. What I needed was more shelf space.
|A teeny stack of rescued books|
Which is where making the case for books comes in. My neighbor has a logging arch and a portable sawmill. He’s also a book lover. We thought it would be a good idea to turn a big hardwood tree that had blown down on my sled dog trail system into book cases, so Stan readily hauled the log to his property
(it's awesome having a handy neighbor) and milled the boards with his Wood Mizer. My job was crafting the boards into a bookcase prototype, in between search and rescue trips to the university library. Sounds simple, but after a day of struggling to construct something that resembled a book case, I was sorely tempted to buy pre-made. Then inspiration struck. That old wooden ladder in my barn, cut in half, would make great ends for the book case, with the shelves resting on the rungs. I would have sacrificed my trusty hay ladder, but the rungs were unevenly spaced, so I built another. The end result of my first attempt at building a book case was awkward and not quite square, to put it mildly, but the second attempt is looking better and the books appear much happier (and safer) on the shelves. While nothing eases the unsettling specter of a completely digitalized future, rescuing books from the shredder has its own rewards. I feel like I’m surrounded by friends, and I have LOTS of reading material for this coming winter.
|Stan and his logging arch|
As for writing, my first Heartwarming was released this month. A Family for Rose was probably one of the most challenging stories I’ve written, from an environmental standpoint. It’s about about a big wind company coming into a small town and turning neighbor against neighbor, something I've lived through. More than that, it's about figuring out what’s really important in life, and unlike so many heart wrenching conflicts in real life, this one has a happy, heart warming ending.
|How it's suppose to look|
How does that song go? ‘What the world needs now is love, sweet love’ ? How true that is, especially in this day and age. Oh, and happy endings are important, too. So let’s keep those love stories with the happy endings coming. Write on, sisters, write on, and may our books NEVER end up in the recycle bin!
Congrats on your first Heartwarming!!! I'm the same way about books and admire your work in building your own book case. Getting an electronic reader is on my must do list, mostly because it would be helpful when I'm traveling. Still, there's something so satisfying about holding a book in my hands--an electronic reader just won't be the same. Would love to hear more about your sled dogs.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Callie! As for my sled dogs, trying to feed my huskies is what got me into writing. Back when I was racing competitively, just feeding my pack of thirty dogs was a daunting prospect, so I conjured up stories while out on the trail, training my teams, then started writing Supers for Harlequin. What a great combination, writing romances and running sled dogs! As for Heartwarming, it was an honor to be asked to join the blog. What a super bunch of writers!Delete
Wow, that's dedication, and the bookcase looks great. Fascinating to hear that you live off the grid with your sled dogs. I'll look forward to hearing more about your life.ReplyDelete
Beth, I'll never cut it as a builder of book cases but this was a fun and challenging project!ReplyDelete
Welcome to Heartwarming. I look forward to hearing more about your life, too, and the dogs!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Liz!Delete
So glad to hear about your life--and most of all, your writing. Welcome to Heartwarming, and congratulations on your book!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Virginia. It's nice having a link to other writers, I live way out in the boonies!Delete