Foreword Reviews

Inside the January/February 2022 issue

Home Is Where Your Books Are

In these first days of winter, my partner and I have just completed the gargantuan task of condensing our household into stacks of tidy cardboard boxes. Somewhere in the middle of this arduous process, it became apparent to me that we were approaching our personal library in a “first in, last out” manner—many of the volumes were the first items to be unboxed when I moved in six years ago; the same books now waited patiently to be boxed again. Until those cartons were sealed, home still looked a bit like home. With them packed away, the home I’m leaving looks stark and unrecognizable.

It’s interesting how quickly the books that we read and love become permanent fixtures in our lives—or how even those that are aspirational move with us from place to place, waiting for the day when it’s finally their turn. My personal library has been culled and expanded, even over these last few years; it’s a continual process of deciding what warrants keeping, and what should be passed on to another reader. Some of my books are near permanent TBR titles; some have been read and reread so many times that they have a velveteen rabbit quality, or that, indeed, the copies that I have now are their second or third iterations. But all are beloved. And I’m not sure that our brand new Victorian farmhouse—which bears a passing resemblance to Green Gables, one of those velveteen titles—will feel entirely like home until they’re unboxed again.

Is it dangerous to admit how many titles in this issue are either already in that mix, or destined for it? I’ve been salivating over some of these books since we finished the selection process: from Crafting Authentic Paper Flowers and Saka Saka in our Cozy Up! Special Section, to the musing novel How We are Translated in the back of the book. Extreme North sounds to be a fascinating venture during this already extreme winter; For Want of Wings has stirred the science bug that high school classes did their best to suppress. Worlds await our discovery in these books—and our eventual rediscovery, after years inhabiting our home and library shelves.

Happy Holidays!
Michelle Schingler

Image above from Brave Enough by Rob Justus. Used with permission from Page Street Kids.

Michelle Anne Schingler

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