Something, there is, about a book

So, I’m moving. Again. Granted, it’s finally to a house of my own (I’ve been renting since my return to the land of the repressed.), but it’s STILL moving. For me, that means books. Packing all the books.

As my ex put the last box of books in the back of the UHaul that would move us to his family farm in Arkansas, he swore he would never move my books again. (He didn’t.) By the time we packed everything for the move to the farm, we had gone through the three stages of labeling boxes–“books,” “more books,” and “more d&*% books.” And that was after a flood in our house in Mobile destroyed most of them. While I’ve been planning to get an electronic reader for a while now, the packing reminds me that nothing can replace that tangible form.

NOSTALGIA ALERT

My childhood was tied up in books–I spent afternoons in the musty public library from grammar school on. Relatives gave me books, teachers gave me books; when I finished all my elementary school had to offer, they brought me some from the high school. Most of you know my background. Books were my way out.

Even now, while I’m packing, I look inside the front covers to see inscriptions from those who gave them to me, take a moment to feel each one and the memories it brings, check out a bookmarked page, hear the author’s voice, smell the smell that only books have. My copy of Grendyl taken from mom’s shelf–I learned as much as she did when she went to college when I was in middle school. My copy of Italian folktales from my grandmother when I went to college–I took Italian so we could use it, and she wouldn’t forget it. My complete Shakespeare–one of the handful of items I ever received from my other grandmother. Old Boy Scout manuals and young engineer books from my dad–keys to his past and mine.

So yes, I may get a reader to haul to the beach or to have by the pool or on a plane. It could be nice to have a novel or essay on hand instead of telling a student I’ll bring it the next day. But I won’t get rid of the books. My children are pushing their own shelves to capacity already, but they haven’t grumbled once about packing them. They know. Where we go, so, too, the books. Always.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy
    May 12, 2011 @ 13:46:20

    The books. They go with us. Yes they do! You will surely enjoy them in your new house. Congrats!

    Reply

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