Monday, July 9, 2012
Don't Touch That Book!
Wrong. Because my idea of valuable and the appraisers may not agree. He’ll be talking monetary value; I’ll be talking sentimental value.
How could I ever get rid of that scuffed volume of “A Child’s Garden of Verses,” illustrated by Nathaniel Wyeth and Jesse Wilcox Smith? The one with the picture of a duck drawn in crayon on the inside back cover, by my mother when she was four years old.
Or… that set of Edgar Allan Poe with the black crinkly binding and silk ribbon bookmarks. Or…the tattered complete set of Dick Francis in paperback, that I know I’ll reread again and again.
Or… all of Dorothy Sayres, Margery Allingham, and Josephine Tey? Or… ”The Long Goodbye,” by Raymond Chandler in which I marked the passage where the hero goes into a hotel bar early and describes the making of a martini as if he were in church watching the priest perform his sacred rituals. Or… the battered copy of “Rebecca” with all the suspense passages marked to be read to my class in mystery writing. Or… I could go on and on.
The trouble is—these books are my friends. And when I go to sleep at night it is a comfort to be surrounded by them.How can I think of getting rid of even one of them?