Ellison G. Weist hails from a long line of bibliomaniacs. Her personal battle with the illness has led to her being labeled “The Book Bully” due to a tendency to approach total strangers in bookstores with the hopes of, yes, infecting them.
After a sales career with a “major soft drink company,” Ellison spent three years as a book editor for a Portland, OR newspaper. These days she enjoys matching readers with books; finding new spots to hide book purchases from her long-suffering husband; and blogging about books.
Threats from my neat-freak husband have trimmed the number of books that reside on my bedside table. Since I am blessed with a man who enjoys dusting, I cannot complain. At least not while he’s in the room.
I recently picked up A Clash of Kings, the second book in the A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin. Friends who know my reading tastes find this unfathomable since, on the whole, I cannot abide the fantasy genre. But there is something utterly addictive about these books. Martin’s characters are fleshed out to the point where I can overlook the phantasmagoric elements that puzzle me.
An unfortunately small pile next to Martin’s 700-page paperback includes several books I keep meaning to get to. These include the new novel by Audrey Schulman, Three Weeks in December, and the debut by C.E. Morgan. The latter author is from Kentucky. I’m getting ready to visit family back there so I may need to pack it. I’m also sniffing around The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee; however, one friend described the first 30 pages of Lee’s latest as “devastating,” and that gives me pause.
About a quarter of the space on my bedside table will always be occupied by a five-volume set of books by Louisa May Alcott. Ranging in publication dates from 1914-1917, these black calfskin-bound treasures originally belonged to my maternal grandmother and her older sister. I inherited them as a pre-teen and devoured all five over the period of a month.
I remember being fascinated by the fact that more than fifty years earlier two young girls from Kentucky had read and cherished these very same volumes. Because of their increasingly delicate condition, my own daughter was unable to read them, but I made sure to purchase her paperback copies. She, like all of her kinswomen, loved every tale.
Today each of these precious books is in need of rebinding. But until I find a professional I trust, they will remain by my side of the bed – as testaments to the love of reading that has sustained my family for generations.