The Story of My Childhood as Told in Photos of Books: Part 1

The Project

As a result of a spring-fever cleaning urge, I recently sorted and cataloged my books using the Libib app and website. Near the end of my project, I had a nice time going through a large box of books that I kept from my childhood.

Just from looking at the books, it was fun and enlightening to see who I was when I was young, and to think about the ways I have and have not changed.

The Horse-Crazy Kid

Clearly, I not only loved riding our family horses when I was young (I belonged to a 4-H club called the Portneuf Posse), I loved reading books about horses. The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley was an especial favorite, but I would read any book about a girl (or guy) and her (or his) horse.

A photo of kid and young adult books about horses

The Kid Who Loved Old West and Outdoor Adventure

At one point in my youth—(4th grade was Idaho History year and we played a lot of Oregon Trail in the school computer lab)—I would have gladly time-traveled to live in the 1800s of the American Old West. My absolute favorite book from this category was Moccasin Trail by Eloise Jarvis McGraw.

I also loved reading outdoor adventure and survival stories, and if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have replied that I wanted to be a hermit and live alone off the land in the mountains.

A photo of kid and young adult books about the Old West

Striving for Simplicity

Here is a lovely example of visual irony that made me smile:

A sign reading "Simplify" is almost covered by a stack of paperwork

Further irony—Hanging below the “Simplify” sign, covered by the stack of paperwork, is a great quotation:

“Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior.”
—Dee Hock, American businessman

As the photo illustrates, sometimes one falls behind in the quest for simplicity. However, there is always hope:

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”
—Robert Browning, English poet


“The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”
—Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia

In my own quest to simplify, clarify, and organize my mind and my life, I’ve found David Allen’s Getting Things Done model and method to be very helpful.