Monday, 21 March 2011

Book nostalgia

We have a barn. This was a working farm 30 years ago and so along with the farmhouse we acquired a barn. It's dry and we put all our unwanted stuff in there and I regret to say it's started to mount up so this week we are tackling it. The first trip to the dump was this morning.
At the end of the week is a Church Jumble sale. Next week is a book sale so I started in earnest this morning. Getting old pots and pans, ornaments and crockery together was easy. The books were not. I don't knit any more so about ten books on that subject were easy to ditch. Novels were harder. Some I hadn't even read yet. All the play books have to stay...around three hundred memories of past triumphs can't be relinquished easily.
Then I found a memory long forgotten. And the world stood still.
As a little girl I lived with my grandparents. They had books, Victorian books about good little children. But I could read at three. Any book was food for my increasing hunger.
When I went back to my parents the only book I took with me was a small bible. I read it. It was the only book in my parents house.
My father came home from the army on leave. When he had to go back I went with him to the station and gave him my bible. It was to keep him safe.
About a year later he came home for good. My bible came home with him.
For my birthday that year he took me to a book shop and told me to chose. I could have any book I wanted. I was eight years old and was overwhelmed. I took a long time to chose.
Finally I chose a book with pictures in called The wonders of Nature. It described evolution and why and how animals and plants are different. It was not a book for children but I read every bit of it lots of times.
I found it this morning battered but intact. Right at the bottom of a great pile. It has survived lots of moves and is still readable.
It will not be going to the book sale.

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