My mother has gobs of books. Shelves and shelves, enough to fill a full room, plus.
Some she purchased out of want, some she had to have, some she just acquired, left here or there by someone else and picked up by her; taken in rather than thrown out.
There are the pieces of classic literature that no home collection is complete without-- Homer
, as well as Dickens
, and Twain
. Pieces from her youth-- Kerouac
. Loads of books from my own childhood-- Silverstein
, and Blume
Volumes and volumes of scholarly journals, books written by colleagues and idols. Books about ancient mysteries, solved
; How to manuals and theories galore. Biographies, and true stories, scientific details crammed on large pages with tiny print.
The shelf by the window holds her favorites, the poems that I did not know she read until much later in our lives. The heartbroken
, the beat
, the naturalist
. The latter being her favorite; she identifies.
She owns books that I did not know existed. Collections and assorted ramblings, first-print edition
s, only-print editions. Some books would look better behind glass, in libraries or museums. Fragile books receive plastic covers or special places on designated shelves.
She has never thrown a book away, nor lost one.
There are only two books missing: hers, and her daughter's. Both unwritten.
When she reminds me that I really should finish mine, I become a constant reminder that hers is not finished either. Two writers challenging each other to be first, neither really wanting the blue ribbon
Your book would be a hit, she says. Everyone identifies with love and thunderstorms
. Nobody reads poetry about science.
Which is why you should write it.