Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I was looking for a book today. Not just a book, but a particular book. I couldn't find it. I have a sneaky suspicion that Jason has either hidden it or taken it away because it was one of those books that made me say things like: "This should be sent to the White House so some-one can read it to DUHH-bya."

But I couldn't find it.

I looked in the front room, where we have three packed bookcases. I looked in the back room where we have an overflowing little bookcase. I looked in the spare room where Jason has two overflowing bookcases. I looked in the bedroom where there is usually a stack on either bedside table.

I think we have a book problem. Many many years ago, I was moving to a larger apartment. My son got it in his head that he would count my books. He stopped at a thousand. At that time I decided maybe I should thin them out a little. I went through them and came up with a small box full that I was willing to part with. In a short time, I'd replaced those with new books.

When I bought the house, I also bought three six foot tall bookshelves and did another purge (I take my old books to the nursing home where my mom's ex-neighbor lives, the residents there really like getting fresh books). After that, I had room to spare on my bookshelves.

Then Jason moved in, bringing his biblioholic collection with him. I think we could qualify as a library. We've got it all. Literary fiction, detective fiction, women's fiction, general fiction, children's literature, history, social studies, poetry, how-to books, cook books, reference books....

An aquaintance once told me that she reads books from the library. Frankly, it horrified me. Now, I have nothing at all against libraries and have even checked out books from them before, old out of print books that I wanted to read.

But I must own my books. I have to be able to take my time with them, revel in them, let them get splashed with bubbly bath water or have bits of lunch dripped in them. They must endure little kitten scratches from where Loki tries to dislodge my thumb or teeth marks where Thor just flat out gnaws on the paper. I have to be able to go back to them, at a moments notice, to find that perfect sentence or that oh-so truthfully told paragraph, just so I can see it again.

Like a child's blanket or old teddy bear, my books are well worn and well loved. And impossible to part with.

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