My sister was dating a guy who fell in love with her bookshelf....
...They were just getting to know each other. He was hanging out at her house for the first time, when he began looking through her books. She had books on mountain climbing. She had books by Seinfeld. She had farmer's market cookbooks and old journals and touching memoirs and giant tomes, like Infinite Jest. "That's it," he said. "I loved her bookcase. I knew she was funny and adventurous and thoughtful. And, at that moment, I knew I would fall in love with her."
Two years later, they got married.
It might sound extreme, but I'm sure you book lovers out there can understand his feelings. Our books can reveal a lot about us -- our interests, the way we think, even our approach to life...The whole concept so reminded me of....well...me. And Sals. And the other Molly. Books can show layers of ourselves that we are to frightened or embarrassed to verbalize. They can be windows to our future, our dreams, our past mistakes. For me they are often better than a movie--gasp!--because they allow that often dormant creative side of me to take over. In the midst of the tests and the busy work schedule and the grad school craziness, reading is the one time that I seem able to completely tune out the cacophony and focus.