Books Should Be Read

My late step-father had a huge book collection he treated like, pulp Polo ponies. I think it was the reason he married my mother, because she was the only one who was willing to dust them all.

Once visiting, I had asked if I could borrow his Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and he and my mother looked at one another like I asked for a kidney.

My mother said, “You want to borrow one of OUR books?” Our books, indeed. All she ever read were Harlequin Romances she’d never finish, but that didn’t stop the two of them laughing, at what they perceived as an outlandish request.

It left a mighty impression on me, which is why I lend, send and give books hoping to ignite reading muscles in my midst, even if I don’t get them back.

I feel they’re better off having the chance to be read by someone, rather than displayed on my shelf like knickknacks.


Sadly, in this day and age, many people don’t read, and your social media page and take-out menus, don’t count (I sighed writing that.)

I can’t say enough how much I love the written word, and when someone says, I don’t have time, or I used to read a lot in school, or I’m just too busy, I want to go to the nearest church to light candles in memory of their wasted intellect.

A favorite story.

The writer, Stephen King, went to a High School to speak to the student body. The first thing he did when he took the stage, was pull a dog-eared paperback from his back pocket, wave it like the American Flag and say…

“You want to write, you have to read!”  

I can’t top that.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Books, creative writing, Culture, Family, History, humanity, inspiration, parents, readng, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to Books Should Be Read

  1. Dale says:

    Thought for a second there you were giving us a glimpse of YOUR bookshelf πŸ˜‰
    And I agree. Books are meant to be read, not just displayed!
    I don’t know about you…but do you judge a person by their bookshelf?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think reading and breathing go hand in hand. Certainly reading and writing do. Thanks for being an advocate for reading and for the Stephen King moment too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorryless says:

    It would make for an interesting story actually.

    “Her favorite books hung from the wall like literary spokes to an ever changing wheel. Each one a definition of the miles her soul had roamed. Her guilty pleasure trove of romance novels was now being overrun with dog eared recipe books. Most recently, she had become a disciple to the works of C.S. Lewis, Bonhoeffer, Austen and Martel. The words reminded her of that summer not so long ago when she learned that love was worth leaving and heartbreak was worth having,”

    Blame it on Mary . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Books are to be read, read again and used for inspiration in life. Someone has taken time to write about a subject so people should take time to try and appreciate their efforts. We have bookcases full of “interesting” subjects ranging from Chinese history to the Civil War, through some of the people behind the great world conflicts and then onto the dirty politics which have riven society for decades (whispers – mainly American – sorry!). If people abuse books it is deemed a heinous crime in this house. The worst thing is to open and book and then snap the spine. Truly awful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HEAR HEAR!!! I second this wholeheartedly. Library cards should be mandatory, and little kids should be required to read all of Babar. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Libraries are being closed and mothballed which is such a shame. I worry that people will not read as much now that they do not have their usual commute on the train, tube (thats your subway!) or bus to their place of work. Working from home if you can has its advantages, however taking the time during travel to read and learn from an authors experiences is equally as important. There is something about the physicality of handling a book, reading it and then putting it away for a while, that trumps picking up an e-reader and merely scrolling right. The work that has gone into writing the book, researching the subject and then getting it printed and published all adds to the excitement of the read.

        Some books are a window on a world that many may never see or achieve. To have a view into another unknown place is exciting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • How beautiful you said all that. I prefer a book in my lap, and all the media in the world could never satisfy my thirst for books, and yes, there was a time they were treated like gold and to publish put you over the moon. As for libraries closing. They’re knocking down churches, so why am I not surprised. sigh

        Liked by 1 person

      • The world seems to be moving toward a more monosyllabic soundbite culture where opinions are expressed in meme’s or emoji’s, where emotion is expressed in equal quantities of emoji’s and where words are reduced to single letters. Maybe this is the human race returning to its origins of many millennia ago, when to seek in grunts and hit each other over the head with a large club was acceptable. The foresight of people like William Caxton in the 1470’s will soon be forgotten by the many.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Grunt, the new English Language. I’m not interested in the crib notes of life, to be perfectly honest. Cell phones and social media have ruined the world, not Covid 19 we’re blaming everything on I was rude, it’s Covid. I didn’t show up. You know, it’s Covid. I slept with your husband. You need to understand, it’s Covid. I’m done. Wonder of Mr. Caxton needs a roommate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If he does need a room mate, then I am in. It is sad to see that in places such as London, all the old antiquarian book shops are closing not only through this virus but also seemingly through lack of enthusiasm and interest. It appears to my untrained eye that far too many people obtain far too little information on far too many subjects and then feel free to grunt their opinions to the rest of us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s very true. Our up and coming election is proof of that, how everyone who knows nothing, or at best, very little, has an opinion blaring across cyber space. It’s everywhere, like Nazi propaganda of yore. sigh

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have to admit that again, with my untrained eye, the people who purport to run our lives are those who are giving us as little information as they dare. We are then expected to believe their vague word soup style language without question. This is where books come into play. We try to read the “behind the scenes” information, the details that aren’t provided readily to the general public. Sigh indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I sadly feel, unmoored, as a citizen of my country for the very first time, ever. The definition of unmoored is, adrift…insecure and confused, lacking contact with reality. That about covers it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think, sadly, you are not the only person who feels like this when they have to listen to their “leaders” spout the nonsense and vitriol that their supporters cravenly lap up. If anyone carefully questions the direction and the manner in which the “leaders” conduct themselves, the questioner is immediately shouted down and told to shut up or leave if you don’t like it. There is previous history of this type of language and actions.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s gotten so out of hand, and with this election coming, I’m afraid it will get worse. Our country is on the edge.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There’s only one thing to do. Get your nearest and dearest book, grab a large coffee and bury yourself in the artistry and wonder of the author.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do that every day. It’s my saving grace. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. kingmidget says:

    My parents have a bunch of book shelves that line one wall in their family room. As long as I can remember those shelves have been occupied by a lot of classics. Hard bound collections of authors like Twain and Hemingway and a few others. A bunch of other stuff also. But there is some Dostoyevsky on that wall. A few years ago, a co-worker suggested I should read Crime and Punishment. Some time afterward I was at my parents’ and noticed it was in their library. I asked to borrow it. My dad said, “Sure. Go ahead.” So I did. I got about 20-30 pages in when I got to a paragraph that went on for nine pages. Yes, a single uninterrupted paragraph of nine pages. I agree with you that books are meant to be read, but not that one!! I stopped reading at that point and returned it to my dad.

    Regarding King’s advice, I totally agree with it. I don’t see how anybody could think they can write a story without reading a lot themselves. Yet, I regularly see people on twitter challenge that common sense principle. And trust me, I’m not a huge believer of “rules” for writing, but that’s not really a rule. It’s just common sense. I would love to see a story written by somebody who claims not to be a reader.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved this whole piece Midget. Yes, Crime and Punishment is punishment all on its own. He’s not a fave of mine either since, it’s too depressing for much too long. I read that Dickens got paid by the word, so his tomes make sense. Maybe Fyodor got paid in bulk as well.

      Reading and writing go together like cream and sugar. It’s a no-brainer, but social media has wrecked the minds of so many being neurotically occupied with checking it every five minutes. I see kids on the street all the time almost getting hit in traffic, scrolling like its life and death. For me, reading it makes up more than half of who I am. I’d love to see your those bookcases. How great to have reading parents. Their legacy to you. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Vasca says:

    Time was I could spend hours in a library or bookstore; pitiful that I no longer can do that. Living conditions changed so I read e-books. At least, I can read. I love books, always have…always will. My mother read paper backs…romanticized. She lost her vision later in life and she said what she missed the most was reading.
    Michael and our four sons are avid readers…at least M was until Parkinson’s knocked him out..
    I love the Steven King anecdote…wonderful.
    Thanks for your beautiful writings, Susannah! Bravo!


  7. Go ahead and light a candle for me, Susannah. Somebody needs to light a fire under me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. aFrankAngle says:

    Cheers to your love for reading books.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. skinnyuz2b says:

    When one of Pookie’s bothers first came to my home (before our marriage) he looked at my giant bookshelf and asked if I really read all of them. Being a nonreader, he was completely amazed that I had. I confessed that I was never able to finish Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.
    There are certain books that I don’t lend out, knowing from experience the odds are very slim that they would return. I like to reread them every 10 to 20 years. Pookie says that when I’m in my dotage I can just read the same book over and over and it will always seem new, ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

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