Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Talks

At the beginning of the summer, I found a big stack of paper backs in the basement. I have no idea where they came from. I could have bought them at the library book sale and forgotten about them. They just as easily could have come from my mother's house. All I know is it was the biggest and best surprise of the summer. I have plowed through the stack, taking time out to add to the stack (either other books that I've wanted to read or books by the same authors).

I think one of the hardest things about getting back into reading so many books is I don't really have anyone to share them with. I used to call my mom, recommend the book, and usually, I'd buy it for her. My mother loved to read. We had similar taste in books, although she tended to like mysteries and action whereas, I like books with feelings/emotions. I keep a notebook by my bed and write down the quotes that move me. I savor books, while my mother tore through them. Both of us had no patience for overly "trite" books (we also had the unusual habit of reading books backwards). I also tend to steer clear of "fad" books. I still haven't read 50 Shades of Grey, it just doesn't seem to be my type of book. I am a book snob and have passed this trait onto Caroline. Nothing ticks her off more than the masses discovering one of her beloved and unknown books (can we say The Fault in Our Stars?).

I have only met one other person who shares my insane love of books. We can talk for hours about books. The conversations meanders through a maze of authors and quotes and personal connections. Unfortunately, she travels to be with her family every summer. Once she is back, I will hit her with my latest list! We don't get to hang out very often, but when we do, it is always at the library. We roam the stacks grabbing books for each other. You know the stereotype about women and shoes stores? That's us and books.

I had a dream about my mother a couple of weeks ago. She comes to me in dreams so much more often than my other family members do. Every time I dream about her, I wake up feeling so calm and peaceful. Whether these dreams are the result of heavenly visits or the needs of my subconscious doesn't matter. These dreams help. I tend to keep them to myself because I am afraid of sounding childish, and it would make them less special.

This time, it was all about books. She and I were sitting working on some sort of craft project. I think it was crochet, which is funny because first of all I don't crochet and second of all my mother and I were hardly the sort to sit around and craft together. We craft/crafted as a way to keep our hands busy. Our crafting was solitary, not bonding. My mother loved to crochet. It was nice to have shared that with, even if it was only a dream. I was telling her all about The Glass Castle and how much she would like it. She was very excited and couldn't wait to read it. The best part is she was just like she'd always been: long brown hair, slightly husky voice, but she was calmer and more peaceful than I'd ever seen her. She wasn't in a hurry or trying to move onto the next thing. Nothing else (my brother, the dog, my kids, the TV, stories about other people) was distracting her. I had her undivided attention. That was a rare thing to get while she was alive. It wasn't personal, my mother was a multi-tasker. She rarely did one thing at a time (much like me now). It really was the nicest moment.

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