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Laura A Eschbaugh

Double stacked paper backed books with colorful covers illustrated with dragons, wizards, stars, and spaceships, line a sagging wooden shelf. Beginning geometry, Anatomy 101, American History, tagged and tabbed books abandoned on a dusty high shelf. Leather bound books gold embossed lettering, complete works of... dusty books and shelve. Journals, leather, red, blue, papers sticking out, dated, filled and filed on shelf. Pictures of family, candleholders, baskets of pencils and bookmarks, glass figurines holding dictionaries, books to read, and books read. Two stacks of books on the floor to swap out with books to trade or recycle. Bookshelf contains books on various religions— no dust on shelf. Historical mystery novels, mixed in with biographies and travel— no dust on shelf. This is one of seven bookshelves in house, also several boxes of books on the way to resale at library.

Diagnoses - chronic reader addicticted to sci-fi and mysterys- continuing education, however not along previous scholastic avenues- seeking answers to lifes questions - open to new adventures- discovering library system as way to share stash of books.

Karen Bayly

The forensic team moved carefully around the library. Lieutenant Horatio Caine took his sunglasses off and said:

"The only thing that matters is the evidence. What we have here is the history of a woman who nobody knew well and few knew at all."

"How can you say that," said Det. Frank Tripp. "The broad was known by half the internet."

Lt. Caine put his sunglasses back on and replied: "We are being detoured into the land of make-believe."

He gestured to the book shelves. "See here. Books on martial arts, photography, art, acting, films, horses, cats , and birds. Numerous science textbooks and learned publications ranging from biology to astronomy, many of which are esoteric and highly specialised. There are classic novels from the 1600s to the present day, an abundance of sci-fi and horror stories, philosophical treatises and self-help tomes, encyclopaedias on general knowledge and music."

He picked up the nearest book, "One Small Step Can Change Your Life" and thumbed through it. "Yet every book has clearly been read many, many times."

He paused for dramatic effect.

"Here we have a classic thirst for knowledge, and unquenchable desire to know more. A scholar and an artist."

"So why do you think she's skipped town?" asked Tripp.

"Who really knows with a woman like her, always looking for the next answer." Horatio turned and looked meaningfully over Tripp's shoulder.

Tripp snorted in disgust. "Broads like her act like there's no tomorrow."

Horatio Caine positioned his head so that the sunlight glinted off his sunglasses, and showed his profile to its most arty effect. He sighed meaningfully. "Tomorrow's what you make of it."

{Cue signature song "We don't get fooled again"}

Linda C

Mary Oliver

collects her poems
in baskets
of winged birds

owls and herons,
robins, chickadees
lift her words

float her thoughts
to my sharp intake
of breath - is this

wondered worship
something I can gather
too ?


Write about it as an observer, a historian, yourself, one of the books, something other than a book that's on one of the shelves or as anyone or anything else that inspires you.
Prompt #223
I look at the shelves packed with books and my life’s passion glares at me. The search for more than what I can ever know about the One I have lived my life in connection with is apparent. There are Bibles, many different versions…the NRSV…the New Inclusive…the Jewish Publication…the Good News…Phillips and more and that is the beginning or should I say “in the beginning.” Interpretations, concordances, Bible dictionaries, textbooks from seminary line the shelves in the room I took over as my study/office/computer room once there were no more children at home and I at last retired.
Marcus Borg whom I had as a professor a while back is the author of at least a half dozen books on contemporary reading of Christianity as is Bishop John Shelby Spong, Sister Miriam Therese Winter and Father Richard Rohr. I am on the left when it comes to religion and so my bookshelf would confirm this leaning but not entirely for there are tomes on prayer, spirituality, the feminine face of God/de and related texts. Buddhism too shares room in between the Judeo-Christian writings, Hafiz, Gibran, the Tao, Julian of Norwich, St. Francis, Teresa of Avila, and so many more.
My bookcase surely tells a story of my life from the first time I was aware of the Other/God/the Holy One at age five up to the present, with time off in my teens and twenties to throw it all out for a while.
It’s kind of funny because if you look at my husband’s bookcase, it too is filled with books on his passion…music, a gift of the Creator.


Silly Psalm
“Not another God/book.”
“What’s the problem Dr. Oz book
“Do you want to be
the only writing in this library?”
“Nay, I say but by the way
don’t you feel left out today?”
‘cause here she comes a toting more
hardcovers through the door.”
“so my friend I’ll take a guess,
some of the same to your distress.”
“Well I have to say I know
what subject made her bookshelves grow.”

Maida BP

Said The Book
She adored me when she bought me; held me like I was the found true love, somehow hidden in her sleepy parts until she folded over my cover for her truth to be revealed, this lifetime. I let her pencil underlines and big stars in my margins and turn my corners even though I knew one reading was enough to awaken her. In between readings she carried me as if she believed in osmosis. My words had to respond to her clutch.
I lived in her automobile’s front seat for a long while, for a book. Sometimes the dog sat on me, but it was worth the adoration. Mostly, I was her b.f. who never disappointed.
Then one day I made it in the house, up the stairs and into her study. I felt honored. Blowing the dust off some fellow print, she nudged a space for me….and there I slid…in between the best of company.

Jocelyn Brown

Libros Antiguos

Laden shelves. Library stacks. Book carts.
What stories call to be spun, this day?
Who whispers across worn wooden tables?
Respected teachers. Admirable brainiacs. Honorables mentores.

Kathy K

“Curious choices” the tiny traveler says, sailing in on a dust mote. Snooping mysteries and time-traveling histories, herbs and flowers; snowmen perched on the shelf all the year long. More history, biographies, writing and thinking. How to this and how to that; what ifs and how abouts.

“That may well be” says his wee companion, “but Jane was the most special, always Jane.”

“Jane? Who is Jane? Where is Jane?”

“She’s over by those small books…no, there, right below “Carrots Love Tomatoes”, right next to that book that woke her up to poetry flowing on lines that formed paragraphs that grew to chapters.”

“There, yes, right there. Jane Eyre.” She smiles in sweet memory.

“That’s not the one she read when she was 13. It’s a newer version, a gift from someone who knew how special it was to her. The first one was her older sister’s paperback. It was on her high school summer reading list but the younger one got it first. She read it over and over again until it fell apart.”

“It was the perfect romance. It’s where she first felt her heart skip a beat; where she first felt that pit of the stomach anguish; where the happy ending wasn’t perfect. When Rochester cried out for Jane she felt it in every fiber of her being.”

“Rather silly”, says her skeptical companion.

“Maybe, maybe not. You weren’t there.”


Lots of empty space, don't you like books?

Ahhh , so you recently purged your bookshelf to make room for the new. I see your husband's bookshelves on the other side of the room are bulging. And why is it you have one and he has five?

Oh, ok, as long as you prefer it that way.

What's left? A collection of autism books that you know you will never read again but for some reason, you feel the need to keep them.

Trying to be a better writer? Healthier person? Happier girl? Be better, live better, be more creative. Lots of books like that. I hope you are not obsessed.

Light and fluffy books.. just a few. Why not be more light and fluffy?

A couple of yellowed childhood books, your name in large kid print on the inside. I'm glad you are keeping those.

Kindle will never take the place of your beloved books, will it?


Enjoyed hearing from your book Maida. Very clever:-)


I live in a very small place so the books I keep are important.
My bookshelves double as the top of window dressings so the book are elevated where they belong.
They line all the way around the ceiling of my little treehouse with all my favorite friends.
But the most important books, are under my bed, so that in an emergency I just lean over and grab the medicine I need.
One never knows when a line from David Sedaris, Jane Austen, or Aimee Bender might shift one from a suffering mood to one of mirth and beauty.

Paula Farrington

I am the magic.
The eclectic elixir of energy

that comes together

when heart and head and hands

pour themselves onto the pages—

the pages that sprout new branches—

lifting leafy green knowings, art, ideas,
fantasies, fables, word weavings,

beauty and brokenness,

lifting it up into the heavens

and then back to earth
bound together with nuance

and intentions

trust and trepidation

playful musings

and just the right

dramatic tension

stitched with dreams

and 100-proofed hallelujahs

all crafted into smooth-spined

story packages

both surprising

and sublime.

I am the magic.

I wait here on the shelf

until your eyes meet mine.

Wanda Hatton

Reflecting on my first book off the shelf of my grade school library in Toronto, Canada, possibly when I was in the 3rd grade:

My first recollection of books on shelves was when my teacher escorted us to the library in my grade school. I was astonished at all the books on display. Coming from a disadvantaged Polish immigrant household without books, it was like I had entered a fairy tale. My teacher showed us how to choose a book from the shelf and take it to the librarian to be stamped.

One book seemed to pop right out of the shelf into my hands. It was called Radishes and Gooseberry. I loved the cover illustration of explorers and Indians in a canoe on a river.
When I took it to the librarian, I assumed the book would be stamped and taken to my classroom for reading. I was astonished to find out I could take it home with me. Imagine that! I clutched that book with all my might, never leaving it out of my sight. That feeling has been with me to this day whenever I discover a unique book that I cannot wait to read.

We were told to tell a little story about the book we checked out. Imagine my surprise after I recited the story about adventurers and Indians in a canoe in Canada and found out I had chosen a non fiction book. It was a real story about real explorers in 1659 named Radisson and des Groseilliers, fur traders who organized and charted a new route through Hudson Bay, claiming Port Nelson with Indians and starting the Hudson’s Bay Company. The two explorer’s nicknames were Radishes and Gooseberry!


A journey of a septillian words, starting with the first shelf. The bug killers, the leaf pressers, the heavies, usually they go by the name "coffee table books”, but in here they sit on the bottom shelf no where near a coffee table and provide stability and are far inland from coasters, water, and especially hot swooshy cups of coffee.
The second shelf shows some advancement, less pictures of dream cabins, and pools that glide into the sunset, more proof of higher education. These are the books with coffee stained Christmas trees displayed all over the pages, especially on the final two chapters, because they were sure to be on the test- the professor herself said don't forget about the last two chapters, because she won't. Maybe, I was better off looking at the bottom heavy picture books.
After the education, The shelves seem inclined to devolve into tiers of self-help. Oh, sure there’s some good ones tucked in there and reread favourites, but starting with the parachute book, it seems to plummet far from any safety net into every kind of 10 step chapter fix with easy to review summary page.
I suppose a good jumping off place by the angels and pictures and into the shelves to be built. The children’s one full of good nonsensical advice and purple rings that are designed to delight.
The shelves that appear after leaping into a long goodnight and falling into a day are the ones I wish to create.

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