When we were house hunting, it came down to two houses. One had a three-car garage, was on a lake, and had built-in bookcases. The other, which we now live in, didn’t have these particular things, but was great in other ways.   

My husband gave up his dreams of fishing out of his back yard and keeping all his trailers and boats on-site.

And I thought I was giving up my bookcases.

Until he suggested: Why don’t you just have some bookcases built in “that room”? That room, which would have otherwise had no true purpose except making me feel like I needed another couch, is now my library. Thanks to my uncle Don, cousin Aaron and Monarch Cabinets in Sullivan, IL (family business plug), I soon had my very own bookcases built wall to wall.

This was my dream come true because I definitely had the books to fill them. And I did fill my beautiful bookcases with LOTS of books.However, truth be told many of these books I have not yet read. I am constantly collecting books to read “someday.”

So…When I turned 40, I set a goal for myself: I will read 40 books in the next year.

Thanks to a good friend who suggested this may be too ambitious for my particular situation, I have revised this goal: I will read 40 books OUT OF MY OWN BOOKCASES in…however long it takes me.

So for the time being, instead of clicking “buy” on Amazon, hitting another used bookstore, or grabbing a book at the library, I will be book shopping from my own bookcases. If I run out of “new” books, I will re-read some favorites.

As I am set to finish the first book of this endeavor, the bar has been set very high. Birdsong: A Novel of Love and War is the type of book that reminds me why I fill my bookcases with books.

Every night I have looked forward to going to bed so I can read it. As the pages wind down, I am filled with excitement and sorrow, as this journey will soon be over.

This is the type of book that makes me want to go click “buy” on everything else Faulks has written, so I can add them all to my bookcases to be read “someday.”

But I won’t…for now…instead, I will look forward to what other surprises await me right here.