While visiting potential colleges with my eldest daughter, I dragged her along to visit a few things of interest for me. My literary side-trip.
While in Salem, Massachusetts, we visited an old graveyard to inspect the headstones as well as attempting to visit the House of Seven Gables. Unfortunately, we spent too long in cemetery and didn't make it into the Seven Gables. But some of those headstones were remarkable in their detail and design.
In Amherst, we made the very last tour of the day for Emily Dickinson's house. Yes, she was a recluse. But a brilliant recluse with a love of baking, gardening, and reading. Over 2000 volumes in the family's library.
Upon returning home, I found a stack of children's books by the back door which my youngest culled from her bedroom bookcase. No doubt taking up space that she wanted for books in her current level of reading.
It's so easy nowadays to treat books the way we treat most other things, as disposable. Cheap enough to own and cheap enough to toss when we're done. Gone are the days of a family being lucky (and wealthy) enough to own more than the Bible. Other than travel books and genealogical research tomes, I can't think of the last book that I borrowed from the public library.
But walk into any room in my house and you'll find shelves and shelves of books. Even the kitchen. My own private library. Most fortunate. But never a recluse.
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