What Do Your Books Say About You

Yes, there are people who still take the time to read and I'm one of them, but you may be surprised by the books on my IKEA bookshelf. Being a photographer, I have my share of beautiful, oversized picture books by other amazing photographers who lift me up and inspire me when I'm in a creative slump but I also have a diverse smattering of weirdness amongst the beauty. Ah, such is life..

My bookshelf has changed over the years, depending on what I'm experiencing in my life. If I brought a new date home today and he scanned my bookshelves, he would see everything he needed to know about me and what I'd traveled through. I used to be ashamed of my 'self- help books,' but I'm warming up to the idea that my bookshelf tells an important story about me. It tells the story of my struggles, my loves and my hobbies and it is as unique as my fingerprint.

What's on my shelf you may be wondering? Well, when I was going through relationship struggles, I was the first one in line to buy a book on understanding relationships better. Can you say, '5 Love Languages?' Reading that book helped me understand my part in the equation of love and how to ask for what I needed. When I was interested in traveling to Bali, I bought a book on what to see and where to go and dogeared like, every page. I highlighted my favorites places when I returned and wrote notes in the margins about the beauty I'd seen. That book is almost like a diary of my month long journey to find myself again after my break up. When my dad passed away suddenly 6 years ago, I bought any and every book I could find that talked about the after life and communicating with someone who had passed. I soaked up every word and my grief found new lightness as I read about other people's struggles to understand and cope. When I almost died several years ago because of a random and rare ailment, I searched for books about other people who had mysterious ailments. To my surprise, I found several books about real people who had suffered from illnesses that almost killed them.

Books have this magical way of helping us feel less alone. I love when the sun is rising or setting and I have a few moments to sit and read about other people's lives, their stories and what they've been through. I've always been this way though, had extreme empathy for other's struggles. It makes me feel more normal, less odd and part of a larger group. It's a little like therapy for me but within a more affordable $10-25 price point. Fiction is for sissies, I say. Give me a real life, jaw dropping story any day.

Anyone got a good one for me?