A writer’s bookshelf…neglected tomes

Oh Thesaurus, how do I love thee? Let me count the words! (apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

refbooks

These books that adorn the shelf next to the desk where I write, how often are they used? The ones I’ve had for many years, falling apart from old age and earlier constant usage…Roget’s Thesaurus, The Penguin Dictionary of Quotations, Fowlers Modern English Usage, The Concise Oxford Dictionary…mostly sit unopened on the shelf from one year to the next.

Looking up the reference for the sonnet misquoted above took all of a millisecond on Google. Finding it in the index at the back of the Quotations book took a lot longer.

So why do I keep these books, taking up space on a shelf? For the same reason I keep thousands of other books in the house. I love the feel, the smell, and the action of turning the pages, the thrill of discovery and re-discovery when I get around to reading some of them again.

And, opening the Thesaurus to a random page just now, I find Knowledge and Ignorance side by side. What fun! I think I should delve in here more often.

thesaurus

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