“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


the stories outside the pages: a new series

“If you take a book with you on a journey,...an odd thing happens: The book begins collecting your memories. And forever after you have only to open that book to be back where you first read it. It will all come into your mind with the very first words: the sights you saw in that place, what it smelled like, the ice cream you ate while you were reading it...yes, books are like flypaper--memories cling to the printed page better than anything else.” 
                                                                                                                      ― Cornelia FunkeInkheart


one of my top 10 books ever;
i own more than 1 copy and neither is hardback
and be still my heart if i happen across an old copy.
i've gifted it to friends
and i always buy myself another if i run across it.
cause you never know.

the first time i saw it was in a markdown bin,
and i'd just taken up with the ever-wonderful michael,
who was a pilot and a reader and in love with africa.
knew st. exupery plus he could rebuild a car's engine,
which i considered damn important -
i like me a man who can do stuff -
and he had me at i would ask you to draw me a sheep
way back when i was in art school.
he gave me the other st. exupery books to read,
the ones that weren't the little prince,
and i flew in his little beat up old plane,
and we read isak dinesen
and we watched out of africa,
and i was newly in love,
and you know that time,
when things click into place,
they really do,
the universe moves with you,
not against you,
and that's how i found west with the night,
the universe moving with me;
i don't think i'd've given it a 2nd glance otherwise.
i turned it over and on the back cover
hemingway was saying wonderful things about ms. markham,
and so i bought it and read it and loved it,
and then i read it out loud to the the ever-wonderful
and he loved it,
has it mostly memorized, in fact -
he, in fact,
is someone to be lost on a deserted island with,
he can quote you entire books
in case the trunk with all your reading material doesn't make it.


i think that's how they get you, these books.
i don't ignore the writing, the words, their stories, their magic,
but i include the stories on the outside of their pages,
the stories that lead you there and keep you.
the stories that bring you back again and again.

that's what this series will be about.
i'm not gonna tell you too awfully much about the books,
google will do that part better anyway.
i will tell you my part about the book i've chosen .
and i will leave with a line or two,
perhaps a paragraph.

this is first only because i already had the graphic.


"I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance. The cloud clears as you enter it. I have learned this, but like everyone, I learned it late."
                     ~~~~~Beryl Markham



  1. I am really looking forward to this! I loved the book , when I read it. Not like you, breathing it in, but still. . .

  2. Yay! i think this sounds wonderful... i can think of a whole list of books that i feel this way about, books that changed my life because of where i read them, when i read them... who i was with when i read them.

    and i read beryl's book because i saw this quote on your FB wall and you recommended it. and i loved it.

    plus, i love spiders :)

  3. Wow, this is brilliant. Just thinking about what book I'd love to experience this way is going to be wonderful in and of itself. Thank you so much for both the inspiration AND the invitation!

  4. I love the idea of this so much, and this makes me want to try to write one of my own, even just for my own journal. When it comes down to it, this is all that counts about books anyway--why they matter.

  5. West With the Night is one of my best beloved books. I have given away more than ten copies through the years. Once, for a gift Jeffrey gave me an incredible hardback illustrated with the most gorgeous black and white photographs. Two loves in one.

  6. well, what fun this will be, sugar. and hard, too, because i have deep, meaningful, life-altering conversations with my books - relationships. i have relationships with so many books, i'll probably have to write titles on slips of paper, toss them in the magic sorting hat, and see what happens.

  7. oh yeah..
    The stories out side the books, wow.
    I have to many of those...
    This is bloody brilliant!
    Now where do I sign up to play?
    (PS jeanne sent me)
    after trying 4x to leave a comment..
    Google doesn't like me..
    I am going with anonymous...

    1. well, hello She Of Many Names. bad google. bad, bad google. but pffft. i adore you - we all adore you - and that's what matters. i knew you'd love this. hoped you'd leap in and be a part of debi's grand idea, fun idea, generous idea.

  8. I love this. Count me in. Thank you.

  9. I have not read West of the Night, but now I must. My favorite, Gift of the Sea, always reminds me of a long ago friend. I wonder where she is now. She gave me my first copy, which is falling apart. I can't bare to let it go because it reminds me of the friendship I once had. I recently gave a copy to my daughter, as it meant so much to me. I hope she thinks of me when she reads it.

  10. Oh..... please count me in, and how do I do this - send you a message with my words and a photo of the book? I love my hardcover copy of Beryl's book BTW, read it over and over again and never tire of her glorious words. Your words are glorious too...

  11. Hello this is a great idea and I was sent here by Jeanne as well :) I have just posted about a series of books by Elizabeth Cunningham ..will note your email and send you the post if this comment goes fiddly

  12. I've never really thought of that before. I read all the time. Lot's of books. But never have I thought about the story outside its pages. I feel like I have missed out, and perhaps I will become more aware, really aware the next time I fall for a book.
    Hmm... food for thought.

  13. I've never really thought of that before. I read all the time. Lot's of books. But never have I thought about the story outside its pages. I feel like I have missed out, and perhaps I will become more aware, really aware the next time I fall for a book.
    Hmm... food for thought.


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