Yeah, I bought more books. Got a problem with that?

My To-Be-Read pile is sky high. I probably have more books waiting to be read than any one person can hope to get through. So last week I did the only reasonable thing I could do as a healthy, devoted bibliophile: I bought more books.

Three of the seven new books I bought last week.

Three of the seven new books I bought last week.

But wait before you judge me, because I can totally justify my latest book-buying spree.

Not enough shelving

You see, I’m a very visual person; my imagination and memory both work best when I can conjure up an image in my mind of the fact I’m trying to recall. That’s certainly true when I sit down to write one of my stories or novels.

Another new book.

Another new book. Any book by Hugh Montgomery Massingberd is a must-have for my library.

Those new books I bought are chock-full of photographs of some of the greatest palaces and ancestral homes in England—photos of exteriors with wide carriage sweeps, and interiors with hand-painted ceilings atop cavernous great halls.

The ceiling in the Great hall at Blenheim Palace.

The ceiling in the Great hall at Blenheim Palace.

In the book on Blenheim Palace I found this photographic gem: The elaborate “door furniture” on the front door of the palace.

Elaborate "door furniture" on the front door at Blenheim Palace.

Elaborate “door furniture” on the front door at Blenheim Palace. Imagine the servant whose job it was to keep this hardware so highly polished.

And I feel like I scored big when I turned a page in Great Houses of England and Wales to find this photo of a magnificent Regency-era entrance hall at Harewood House:

The Grand Entrance Hall at Harewood House.

The Grand Entrance Hall at Harewood House.

When it comes time for me to sit down at my computer and make up a Regency-era world filled with authentic locations and settings, all those images fire up in my head. I can picture my characters gracefully serving tea on a silk upholstered settee, passing through a heavy, ornately carved doorway, or walking the path of a sunken garden of a great ancestral home.

These are books I’ll turn to again and again even if it’s only to admire the beauty of the images they contain.

My plan is to spend time this weekend reading through my new books and drinking in the images they contain. Unfortunately, that leaves little time for me to tackle that TBR pile that’s slowly taking over the tabletops and other flat surfaces of my home; but I’ll get to those books soon, I’m sure. Probably right after my next book buying spree.

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