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from the September/October 2001 issue
Model Reader
Librarian or cover girl? For Cheryl Tiegs, either would have been a picture-perfect life
by Kristin Kloberdanz

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WANDERLUST "I like to travel and have
adventures, but if I can't go, I read about it,"
Cheryl Tiegs says. "In my next life, I would
like to be a well-respected writer because it
would mean I could live anywhere."
Photograph by Mojgan B. Azimi

Cheryl Tiegs lowers her voice to a reverent pitch when she describes one of the best gifts she's ever received: the Oxford English Dictionary. "I'll never forget the peace and happiness and warmth, and the smell of it and the feel of it," she says of unwrapping the hefty volumes. "I was in heaven." The fifty-three-year-old model, whose swimsuit-friendly looks made her the pinup girl of the '70s, says her Los Angeles Polynesian-style home is covered with books, including some that are "near and dear to my heart": literature about Africa written in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. "It's an old collection that travels with me wherever I move," says Tiegs, who lived in Africa off and on in the early '80s. On her daily ventures, Tiegs travels more lightly. "I always have a purse big enough to carry a book," she says, adding that she doesn't mind getting stuck in traffic or in the dentist's office because it gives her a chance to read (she's currently reading A Whole New Life by Reynolds Price). "I don't leave the house without a book. Which means you always have a friend, you're never lonely, you always have something to do." The idea of being surrounded by books at all times appeals to Tiegs so much that if she hadn't become a model, she would have wanted to drive a mobile library. "I would have loved to have been a librarian," she says. "I would love to have one of those buses that I would fill with books and take around to schools. I really would. I mean, I just know I would be happy doing that."

For more photos of Cheryl Tiegs' private collection, see the complete article "Model Reader," in the September/October 2001 issue of BOOK. Call 1-800-317-BOOK to subscribe or to order a back issue.

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