I have a ridiculous amount of books. Like, it would be embarrassing if I wasn’t so at home buried herein. They are everywhere, in every room, on tables, under tables, nightstands, in the bathroom, on one of at least six bookshelves, under beds, and sometimes even cover one of the dining room chairs, stacked, lined up sometimes organized by topic or in some other system that made sense to me at the time like Women Authors–Literature. I own most of them but I have (including my family’s selections) around 100 more books from the library as well at any given time and often times we exceed our two hundred book limit and need to use another card.)
I don’t consider this excessive. It’s my book nest, surrounding myself by all these words, all these wonderful words.
I was that kid growing up that when I spent the night at a friend’s house and they unwittingly left a few books on the floor or otherwise within my reach, and I happened to notice them then I would retreat to the world of that story and my friend would lose me for a few hours or until I came up for air. I’d curl up under their dining room chairs or in the sunlight of their bedrooms until night fall.
It was inevitable.
I discovered Danielle Steel and Alfred Hitchcock in this way at my friend Renee’s house. I read transcendental books at my friend James’s house. (Hey it was the 90’s). I read it all without prejudice just joyful to immerse myself in all those words. I was rabid for them, disconnected to the ‘real’ world around me. I can’t remember anyone at all complaining out loud about it although it is definitely possible that I didn’t hear them if they did. 🙂
I was always this way.
Seven years old, on the floor of my mother’s bedroom, waiting for her to wake, the morning light playing with the dust motes, and me sitting right in the middle with Toad and Frog and Shel Silverstein.
Eight years old and hours spent living in Dido Twite’s world, Joan Aiken’s Wolves Chronicles.
Nine years old and stealing off with a copy of my mothers Stephen King novel, Skeleton Crew, only to read only the first half of the story because it was so terrifying.
Eleven years old and diving into the horror pool with Stephen King’s Eye of the Dragon, and then in the years following, gulping down every last word of King’s that I could lay my hands on. Pulling his books off stranger’s shelves and curling up for an afternoon and evening’s read on their couch. Hearing them in the other room remarking, “She sure likes to read.” And in an effort to get me out of the house, giving me the book.
Anne Rice, and the Vampire Lestat, and Lasher….
All these books as dear and as clear to me in memory as my childhood friends. Who wouldn’t welcome that into their homes?
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