Why I started this blog

I'm Laurie Allee
Fellow Book Lover
When I was a little girl, my mother used to take me to the main library in downtown Austin.  It was a beautiful old building, jutting up from rolling berms of Bermudagrass, and radiating a stately, bygone charm that made me think of it as my very own Temple of Knowledge.  It was so much more vast, mysterious and grand than the neighborhood branch where I sat on a raggedy blanket every  Wednesday morning for Storytime.

When my mother took me to the big library, I was always struck with the same feeling of utmost pathos and gravity: that even if I started that day and dedicated myself to reading every single book in the place, I'd never be able to finish.  Even if I lived to be 100.  Even if I learned to speed read.  There would always be books there that I would die without having read -- and that didn't take into account all the NEW books that would be written and included in the library while I was undertaking my epic, lifelong task.  It is an understatement to say this was my first brush with existential crisis. (When I was a teen, one of the librarians there pointed me to where I could find Sartre.)  The idea of all those books somehow being both accessible and inaccessible crushed me.

My Nemisis:  The historic Former Austin Public Library

"Why would you want to read all that?"  My mom asked me after I told her of my dilemma.  'Why would anyone want to spend their life READING?"

"Well, I won't spend all of my life reading," I said, watching my mom's face relax back from contorted horror into a smile.  "A lot of of the time," I continued, " I'll be writing!"

Fellow bookworms can commiserate.  Many of us are born into families who, let's just say, don't quite grasp our passion for books.  

Books With Laurie
is a virtual mirror of my personal bookshelves.  Friends and family always come to me for book recommendations, and I've probably lent or given away as many books as I've kept. Now I have an ongoing online catalog of the books I love and recommend.  Yes, I've read all the books here.  (And I want you to read them too!)

You know those little "Staff Recommendations" cards poking out of the shelves at bookstores?  The ones written by the resident book nerds who always point you toward something wonderful that you probably didn't know about?  The ones who remind you of great books you should have read but didn't, and others you'd forgotten about and want to read again?  

In this age of toxic social media and continuous iPhone scrolling, I believe books can save us all.  (To join me on my quest to unplug more, and be intentional with technology, check out this blog's sister site: Life Analog.)  Books don't surveille us.  They don't collect our data.  They don't request a like or a subscription.  They don't limit themselves at 280 characters.  Their actual characters don't come to us filtered and seemingly-perfect, but rather messy and complicated and truly revealed.  Books don't care if you follow them, or if  they're a trending topic.  (Although, to be fair, the authors do...)

Books are the remedies for my own tech-saturated woes. 
I think we could all benefit from scrolling less, and reading more books.

Visit my Library when you are looking for a great read.  Readers will find familiar titles, and (I hope) some new discoveries.

Explore the tabs and links for all kinds of hidden goodies for bibliophiles.  Like all great real libraries and bookstores, Books With Laurie has secret annexes and mysterious doorways, and I encourage you to wander around and see what you find.    (Blogs are great for hiding Easter eggs ... and I love great blogs as much as I love great books.) 

I still believe that libraries are temples of knowledge.  This is mine.  .

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