Secrets of My Library

You are what you read. Those words popped into my head the other day as I was sitting in my home office looking at all the books I own. The walls of my personal library are lined with unfinished pine shelves literally overflowing with books. It occurred to me that a stranger could wander into my office—not that I want strangers meandering through my house, mind you—and quickly deduce all sorts of things about the person I am. He or she would guess that I am probably male (too much Hemingway and Mailer), that I almost certainly went to college (how else to explain those thousand-page anthologies of British literature?), and that I fancy myself an outdoorsman (tons of canoeing, wilderness first aid, and fly-tying guides).

The hypothetical stranger would also recognize that I am someone besotted by Maine. Louise Dickinson Rich, Carolyn Chute, Gerry Boyle, Edmund Ware Smith, Bernd Heinrich, Monica Wood—these are just some of the Maine authors whose titles occupy prime positions on my shelves. And if it's true that we define ourselves by the choices we make, then for better or worse, I must admit that my library is a pretty naked representation of my secret self.

I bet yours is, too.