Most of us have a little pack rat inside. I have a whole slew of things that for one reason or another, I can't seem to part with. No, I'm not quite ready for American Pickers, thank you, but I also don't think I can live in a world where there's a place for everything and everything in its place.
Recently, we did some updating of a couple of rooms in our house. They were "guest" or "extra" rooms and you know what happens to them, don't you? They become a depository for everything you want to keep, but don't want out in the open. With me, it's craft things (fabric and yarn), old manuscripts, file folders of ideas, and, of course, books. Where would a writer be without books? But honestly, how many do you need? Especially once you've read them. So I purged. I traded some in to our local bookstore (for credit so I could buy more books), gave some to charity organizations, and passed along some to our kids. But try as I might, I absolutely couldn't part with some of them.
Marjorie in Command by Carolyn Wells, Copyright 1910. I don't know where I got it (I'm not that old, honestly!), but I remember reading it while on vacation in Canada. I was probably somewhere around 9 or 10. I'm glad I kept it.
Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry and Wesley Dennis, Copyright 1947. I had to track this one down in an online used bookstore. It's the story of the famous American painter, who was also a Quaker. How he began his art career really captured my imagination.
Wind in the Chimney by Cornelia Meigs, Copyright 1947. This was a gift from my Aunt Alice and Uncle Ed. They never disappointed me at Christmas. There was always a book under the tree.
And then there are some that our kids loved so much: Rumple Nose-Dimple and the Three Horrible Snaps (a very odd book, but fun), The Stone Doll of Sister Brute, Ickle Bickle Robin, Bread and Jam for Francis, Mr. Pine's Purple House and The Little House. Plus a large assortment of Dr. Seuss titles. There are more, of course, but these especially conjure up images of my young self curled up in a chair or my older self curled up on the couch with my kids.
For a writer, there would be no greater honor to know that years and decades later, one of my books is still lovingly tucked away on someone's bookshelf.