Yesterday, I wrote about giving the gift of reading.
In yesterday’s blog entry, I wrote about how my mom is one of the people who made me love reading.
We had a very rare white Christmas in north Texas. (I haven’t seen a white Christmas in 25 years, when I used to live north of Chicago.)
The snow started falling before my wife and I drove over to my mom’s apartment.
By the time we would have left my mom’s place after the festivities, the roads were icy. We decided to spend the night. (There’s no snow or ice removal in Texas, and the roads tend to be filled with Texans in big pickup trucks and people from up north all trying to prove they can drive on ice at 60 mph, so even if you can make it, why risk it?)
The book (non fiction) is about a book thief and a bookseller of rare books who becomes a private investigator to track the thief down.
I’ve written about books surviving in a world of ebooks. It is clear that books will always be loved by some people — so much so that some people are willing to go to prison for the rare books they steal.
I’ve never stolen books, but I know the appeal of having special copies of the books that mean the world to us. The copy of Rootabaga Stories my mother read to me as a child? I have it in my possession. The signed first edition of Carl Sandburg’s The Sandburg Range that I found in a box of books my mom had stored away? It’s on a shelf nearby.
I have a tattered copy of Doris Burns’s Andrew Henry’s Meadow. Some pages are a bit moldy and torn; the dirt on the cover and some pages is the dirt from my backyard of the house where I grew up. I kept the book in the rag-tag clubhouse that my mom and some friends built as a surprise for me when I returned from visiting my father in Kansas the summer before starting fifth grade.
Were money no object, I could easily see myself traveling the world and buying books.
I would never steal them, but I can definitely see the appeal.
(Were I to steal a rare book or manuscript, I think I’d go for something by Shakespeare. What book or manuscript would you risk prison for?)
* * *
One of the big surprise gifts last night was a book.
There’s just something about it that I love; it’s so different than the books that followed from him.
I bought the first printing when it went to paperback on a whim. There was something about the blue cover of that edition that caught my eye, and the description of the book dragged me in.
My mom bought me a first edition of the hardback for Christmas.
I’ve meant to buy it in the past; I know it’s not a hard or expensive find, but that she thought about it and bought it means so much to me.
It seems fitting; she is, after all, the person who introduced me to books.
I’m a very lucky son.