Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Room without Books by Linda Hubalek

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Each morning I look forward to the daily quote I automatically get from a website. Many times it doesn’t pertain to me or my life, but other times it “hits the spot” and makes my day.

Of course one of the reasons I like this quote is because I write books, but it is so true when you think of your home and where books are either stacked on shelves because you have read them, or plan to read them in the future.  Or you have a book by your bed or recliner that you pick up to read whenever you get a chance.

Looking around my office I have a collection of very old Swedish books that I’ve used for research when working on immigrant pioneer stories. It makes me wonder - who bought, read, and cherished them in the past century? 

How much did they cost? Were they a gift for a special occasion? What pioneer woman treasured this book in her homestead dugout?

I have an Engelsk-Svensk Ordbok (English-Swedish Dictionary) that was published in Stockholm in 1899. It measures 6” x 9” (with a three inch spine)… and weighs four pounds! 

Who packed this important book with them to use when they arrived in America?

And then I think of my Kindle. It’s so handy and holds so many, many books…but it will never have the “soul” of these antique books on my shelf…

Thanks for stopping by to enjoy today's Sweethearts of the West blog.

Linda Hubalek


  1. I grew up with books everywhere. My parents did not censure what we read except True Detective, a magazine my mother used to read. Unfortunately, I read one of them when I was about 10 and nightmares due to the graphic murder cases I read. Those detective magazine suddenly disappeared never to be seen again. Other than that, free range like those chickens. Books made me feel comfortable like old friends. Even now, I have books in every room. In fact, a couple years ago my nephew made a bookcase around my bed because I said I wanted to sleep in a library. I love the thing. So, I can completely relate to your love of books, especially the older ones, Linda. I treasure them.

  2. I love the idea of a bookcase around your bed! What a neat thing for your nephew to make for you.
    I love old Swedish books, especially when they have names written in the front as to owned it, or who gave it as a gift. Think of the hands that held the same books, over a hundred years ago. I do treasure them! Thanks for the comments, Sarah.

  3. You know I don't remember books in our home growing up, but I do know I read. I guess I got books for Christmas and checked them out from the school library. We have books everywhere in our home now, many I've not read, and in my office I have a lot of research books and then of course my favorite reads. I have bookshelves high around the room and in the walk in closet. Interesting post!

    1. The books I remember reading the most when growing up were the set of encyclopedias. That was the most fascinating reading! I know they were a big investment for my parents, but we really used them. We went to the library a lot too.

  4. I don't remember my parents reading until I was a teenager and Mother subscribed to the Monthly Reader's Digest volume. Each was a hard-back book, very thick and heavy and contained, I think four full-length novels that had been "digested"--the story still there, but much taken out so that it might be half as long.
    But I loved books from elementary school, and Mother took me to the library once a month on Saturday. I could check out three books. Oh, my, it was heaven, a treasure each month, and I read and re-read them.
    So, I've always been a reader, and our two children--now close to middle age--have been and still are avid readers.
    Best thing in the world--books. I'm sorry for families that let their children just play or read on electronic gadgets. And I know a few.
    Thanks...I enjoyed your post.


Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West! We are very sad to require comment moderation now due to the actions of a few spam comments. Thank you for your patience.