We spent a couple of days in east Texas with some of our good friends. One morning, Jeff and I ventured into a larger town and wandered through a few antique stores. We love antiques, though we buy very few. Our weakness, however, is books. (Of course!)
We found three books we were willing to shell out $2-$3 each to own. One was a copy of a book I read as a child. It’s kind of an obscure book. I’ve never heard anyone mention it, never found it hanging around in a current library collection. But when I saw it in a dusty back corner amidst a tumble of children’s books, I grabbed it up.
I don’t know if, on a re-reading, it will hold any literary merit at all, but I remember it being a book I truly enjoyed, one that continued to fuel my love of reading—and book-buying, for it was one that lived in my bookshelf for years! I wondered if the author would find a satisfaction in that. She didn’t write a bestseller, but her story meant something to someone. And isn’t that the point?
Actually, I still have titles on my shelves that few people have ever heard of, authors that are not even close to household names. I keep them for the same reason that I bought this one: because the reading of them is a good memory. And somehow I feel I owe it to the ones who penned those stories to make sure they don’t disappear forever.