This post was first published on July 17th, 2015. Today is the 6th anniversary of my mom’s passing.
While I wouldn’t call my farmgirl upbringing particularly bookish, I did grow up in a house full of books. My mom was a reader and it showed.
There was a special cabinet in our entertainment center devoted to our story books where, after baths and jammies, my sisters and I would gather around and pick out the books where were going to read or have Mom read to us.
When I entered grade school the book love continued. I attended a private school where books where a priority. Library was a much like Phys. Ed., a class we had a couple times a week. Mrs. Rollins was my first librarian and I remember her fondly.
During the long, hot summer Mom would load us in the car, along with the daycare kids (a job she held for 30+ years), and we would head to the public library where we would enjoy the air conditioning and take out as many books as the librarians would let us.
My reading habits changed over the years but my mom will remain my first true book-friend.
She is the one who showed me the joy of falling into a book completely and getting lost in the plot. She taught me to respect those library books: clean hands, no writing, no folding pages, don’t lose them. Which is probably why to this day (knock on wood) I have never had a library fine.
She is the one that showed me that reading the last few chapters of a good caper can actually make the story more enjoyable, as you pick up on all the little clues as the narrative moves forward. This is something I do to this day, much to the shock and annoyance of my new book-friends.
On July 18th 2010, my mom died.
In the years since Mom’s death, I have made many more book-friends, and they span the globe. But my first book-friend will always be my best book-friend.
I remember discussing the ending of the a James Patterson thriller will Mom while sitting under a shade tree, sipping iced tea, watching the daycare kids play in the sand box. I remember the talk about religion and faith we had while she was reading the Da Vinci Code. And I remember her face turning a bit red while reading the sex turned rape scene in Disclosure, knowing that her 13 year old daughter had already read it.
I miss our little two person book club.
Particularly on a sunny day, sipping ice tea under the shade tree and reading a twisty thriller.