There are two special shelves of books in my office. These contain books that I cannot ever bear to part with.
These are books I read over and over again, some once a year, some once every couple of years. But I still read them. Just holding them in my hands is special.
I am the youngest of three girls in my family, so hand-me-downs were the norm. My baby brother was so lucky he was a boy! Clothes, toys, and books were all handed down from one sister to the next.
There were always lots of books. My momma was an avid reader and passed that love of reading on to me. My dad worked part time at the local library and was always bringing home books they were going to throw away. I would be surrounded by books all the time, but they were old and worn, with someone else’s name written in them.
One summer, when I was 8 years old, we went to a picnic with my parents. There were games for the kids to keep them from getting bored. One of the games was to guess how many jelly beans were in a glass jar.
I was so scientific about it! I was 8, so I guessed there were 88 jelly beans. I was right! Or at least came the closest. I don’t remember. What I do remember was the prize, a book. The first book I could ever call my own. And thus began my love affair with books.
That book, Little Women, is still one of my favorites. I read it at least once a year. It sits on that special shelf, the binding completely worn away and held together by ribbons. But I still read that same book.
It’s a piece of my childhood I could never throw away.