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Psychologist and writer, Jaffa

  • Estimated number of books: 2,500.

  • Genres: Psychology, meditation, gender studies, biography, literature and poetry.

  • Languages: Hebrew and English.

  • Classification method: By subject matter, and since moving to a new apartment two years ago, I have been able to maintain this approach.

  • Lending policy: I lend mostly to students. I write down [their names] in a notebook and it works. They return the books.

  • Most recent purchase: The six-volume edition of David Shahar's 'The Palace of Shattered Vessels' (Am Oved). I acquired it thanks to Itamar Levy, who was able to locate the rare find. Through this book, I am trying to rekindle my childhood memories from Jerusalem in the British Mandate period."

  • Favorite book acquired: "When I was a very young Ph.D., I paid the equivalent of a month's salary for a 24-volume collection of Freud's writings. To this day, they serve me in good stead. Another book that was important to me, because it was so hard to find, was Dov Knohl's 'Siege in the Hills of Hebron: The Battle of the Etzion Bloc.' It was important for me to read while writing 'The Children of Kfar Etzion'."

  • Favorite writers: "Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Elsa Morante, Aharon Appelfeld and Yoel Hoffman."

  • Book which drew you to psychology: "'Introduction to Psychology,' by Ernest R. Hilgard, the second edition, which my father got for me from a friend in the United States. Through this book, I studied both psychology and English."

  • Favorite books in the library: "Lea Goldberg's children's stories, such as 'A Flat to Let,' 'Nissim Ve'Niflaot' [Miracles and Wonders], 'The Story of a Painter.' Her children's stories feature captivating illustrations, funny moments, witty sentences and lovely rhymes - and they aren't stories of morals and lessons. Through them, I was able to provide my kids with good examples; like what's important at home, good relations between an adult and a child and mostly just how to enjoy a nice story."

  • Books you keep coming back to: "Books by the Dalai Lama, like 'Way to Freedom.' Every time I read it, I discover new meaning in the things I do."

  • Favorite dedication: "'To Amia, on her bat mitzvah'; it was written simply in a book I got for the occasion from a relative. The book was on Leonardo da Vinci ... I recently read Charles Nicholl's biography of Leonardo, and it made think a lot about the role of this creator in my life."

  • Favorite line in your library books: From Lea Goldberg's poem "Toward Myself": "The years have made up my face / with memories of love / and have adorned my hair with light silver threads / making me the most beautiful."