recent post, Nick cited a survey that showed the average British household owned 138 books. I couldn't find a similar statistic for American households, but did find a study showing a very strong correlation between number of books in a household and the children's subsequent level of education. I grew up in a house with loaded books shelves, sometimes two-deep for smaller fiction books. We had the row of Encyclopedia Britannica for reference along with atlases, dictionaries and thesauruses. And yes, that's plural because once a book entered the house, it never left. I was always a voracious reader. For every book we read in my fifth grade class, we got a construction paper train car added to the engine with our name on it up on the classroom wall. Most people had several boxcars following their engine. My train chugged all the way around the room, circling back on itself. I once nearly caught the house on fire reading after I was supposed to be asleep. I had draped my bathrobe and a folded towel over the groovy plastic mushroom lamp in my '70's bedroom, and it went up in flames, burning through the fabric and melting the lamp. After that, I'd lie on the floor, reading by the bit of hallway light that came in through the crack under the door. Even in high school, I would read as I walked down the hall, and I often had a book hidden under my desk to read during class. All this to say, I love books.