A couple of friends came by my house this weekend for a weekend writing retreat, a successful one, thank you. But one of the great things that came out of it was the sharing of the books I love so much. We talked about favorite authors, books we’ve started as well as other writing related things, but I got to show off the books in my collections.
I’ve loved books ever since I started reading at three. I have a tattered, coverless Dick and Jane reader that I know is valueless and would make for a gorgeous craft project, but it’s in the bookcase. I have a collection of turn of romance novels from the turn of the century through the forties. Some of them are so fragile that I’ll never be able to read them, some are future reads.
My obsession with turn of the century books started with a loaned read. My great aunt, whom I loved, respected and I think, idolized, was reading a novel when I was twelve. Of course, I wanted to read the same book, so I asked her if I could borrow it. After admonishing me to be careful of the old book, she loaned me St. Elmo by Augusta J. Evans, a southern writer from the late 1800s. I ploughed my way through Dante’s Inferno quotes in Latin and dense 19th century language and fell in love. And in lust. I WANTED a copy of that book.
I asked my mother for the book for my 13th birthday. My mom is the kind of woman who looks for things that are requested but if she can’t find the exact item, usually finds something similar. But this birthday evidently was a special one. After an exhaustive search, she accidentally came across a copy of the book in a junk (now called thrift) store. My most treasured possession is a tattered, currently unreadable, second thing out of a fire (after my dog and cats) possession. It was the first of my book collection and love for romance novels.
I now have copies of books I love and that in their own way, encourage me to write my own books that, someday, may be someone’s treasure. I’ve enclosed some pictures of the books. They may not be valuable in monetary measures but for me, they’re priceless.