Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Books and Bookshelves

So I follow this blog. Today Angela posted this on her blog.. BTW - Angela can be found at goodreads.

Her post got me to thinking. I've been a grown up for a long time (i.e. I've had my own household for 26 years). My definition of grown up is a post for another time. When I was a child we had book shelves. And on the shelves were books. In fact, the shelves were packed with books. Not nick-nacks, books. Real books. Heavy, hard cover books. And a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (Yes, I had to look up the spelling, but I knew that the real work had that blended a-e thing going on! I knew I needed spelling help, though; I am proud to be aware of my short comings :-)). This paragraph is getting long, and its rambling...

I grew up around books. My father, to this day, is a voracious reader. He even got a nook about 7 months ago, that he loves so much that he got the newest one this past weekend.

Decades ago, when the folks divorced, the splitting up of books and book cases was a memorable deal. Much squabbling ensued. He got two book cases because he had more books. Our apartment in NYC, on West End Ave. in the lower 70's, during the lower 70's :-), displayed his book proudly. And it just seemed normal to me to have books all over the place. And my friend C's parents, they had books, too. Two walls covered in books in their 83rd & Riverside Drive penthouse. I just seemed normal to me.

I had books, too. And my dad put up shelves in my room. I rode the subway to school every day and I read. Every day. I loved to read. I still do. I read Gone With The Wind on the A train. My father had taught me to take a book with me where ever I go. You never know when you might be waiting around... I still do. I get twitchy if I don't have something handy to read.

When we made the Great Move from normal, natural, homey coast to granola-sunglasses coast I boxed up my books and off we went. By then we had M. She came complete with books. And records. She's a musician. By then it was the low 80's. I unpacked my books. But I was not home. They unpacked their books and displayed them in the living room. Seemed perfectly normal to me. It looked nice, actually. BTW, these books had been read, by at least one member of the household if not more.

Anyway, I flew the coop promptly upon reaching legal voting age. I don't remember how my books got packed, but I ended up with them in boxes. I moved a lot for the next 5 or so years. Taking them out as often as I had enough room for them. But alas, I have lived in my current apartment, where I've since shed several room mates, married, housed in-laws for extended stays, and brought home two fabulous babies over the course of the last 15 years, and my books are in the original boxes from the right coast and housed securely in the farthest reaches of my mom's garage (which is pretty buried considering its a "tandem" garage, where one care is parked in front of the other and the storage is behind both cars.

Anyhow... For all these years I have felt odd about my books packed away. They should be out and around me. They are the single true collection of my life. And they mean so much. I love them. Each tome I remember. I remember the story, the author, when I got the book. Where I read it, how it settled with me. And I have notes stuffed into the pages. Names, phone numbers, address, maps... My memories are in those books.

And how sad, that in 15 years I've had none of that nor have I continued in my crazy-old-lady way of keeping important little moments stuffed into the pages - some random, others with purpose.

I've rambled long enough. Books are good and people should read them and have them handy in shelves in their homes. I should have mine. But "should" is another post for another time, and perhaps a different blog.

I love my books and will liberate them.

And yes, if you know me well, I seem to have lost 6 years somewhere :-) And no, I have absolutely no idea where they might have gone. I do know this. They were blessed and great.

Twice today I have been reminded that love is the only true force. And I know its true. After all, I love like crazy, it blinds me, it motivates me, and just feels like its the only thing that really matters.

Love ya crazy! I truly do.

And speaking of love. Please give my girl Cherry some love. She's great. She's awesome. Click on over and get to know her. You'll see what I mean.

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