The Book(s) I Need Most

I guess everyone has a book that s/he fundamentally needs. Mine costs just 2 euro each year and is one I delve into every single day.

It’s the Tide Table for this area and the information that’s in it runs my life in many respects.  When and where I swim depends very largely on the ebb and flow of the tide and walking on the beaches around here is definitely best an hour or so after high tide.

There’s a second book that forms part of my day and I simply can’t leave it out. It is a collection of poems but, more than that, it is a book that gives all sorts of information for each day of the year about key events relating to poets’ lives.

For example, today March 24, marks the birth date of William Morris (1834), Laurence Ferlinghetti (1919), Ian Hamilton (1938) and Joe Shapcott (1958). It also marks the date on which Henry Wadsworth Longfellow died (1882).  Reading facts like these invariably sends me off to read about the lives and works of the poets mentioned.

So, today,  I was introduced, via these meaderings,  to this thought-provoking quote from Laurence Ferlinghetti:

“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” 

I’d love to know about the books that are an essential part of YOUR life?

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

12 thoughts on “The Book(s) I Need Most”

  1. The tide table? These days I’m more interested in the dinner table. As for birthdays, suppose everyone ever born has one of those. Good to remember the ones where a punishment of some kind might occur if it is forgotten. The passing of mine is just a reminder to adjust what is claimed when someone asks: How old are you?” I just wish they’d start out without such an astonished look on their faces, and they could do away with the look of surprise when they find out it didn’t take as long as they’d imagined to cause such a weathered countenance. Other than that, a birthday that falls on any payday warrants some celebration, so those are always worth noting on a calendar.

  2. Jean, thank you sharing the books that matter to you. Its quite revealing isn’t it…. 🙂
    I always have a pile of books next to my bed for dipping into, but the one I read and use in my classes every day is Yoga Gems – a treasury of practical and spiritual wisdom from ancient and modern masters. I’m a sucker for practical and spiritual!

    1. Hi Val, yes, I think the most precious books tell a huge amount about a person. The ‘pile of books beside the bed’ strikes a major chord, though interestingly, my Tide Table book/s live in the kitchen and car respectively.
      How soothing to have a yoga book beside the bed. I can imagine that even looking at it would deepen the breathing.

  3. What a good question! With the Net books are more dispensable these days. I suppose if I was trapped on a desert island I’d like to have ‘Jersey Occupied’, the bible of that period by Michael Ginns. Failing that maybe a collection of WB Yeats’ poetry.

    1. Roy, as I still haven’t moved on to Kindle etc, books are still very much books for me.
      I’m pretty amazed by your ‘Jersey Occupied’ choice, given your emphasis on your heart still being in Ireland but needless to say the collection of WB Yeats would be a strong contender here too. Wonder how it would be to be trapped on a desert island these days?

      1. Well I have so many strong memories and impressions of Ireland they would last me until I ran out of coconuts. The Ginns tome is highly detailed and is one that you’d never master in full.

  4. Hi Jean,It was great to meet you down on Garrarus Strand last week and have the chat. I hope you enjoyed your swim. I never knew that there was a local tide book! I live beside the sea and more often than not as my mother in law said ‘never knew what way the tide was’ I have promised myself for years now that I would make myself a tide clock, maybe this year!

    1. Hello Liam, yes that eventual meeting was great and how lovely our Garrarus looked!
      I’m shocked that you didn’t know about local tide tables but have to say I’d love to see the tide clock when it’s made.

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