I didn’t know that I was lonely,

I’m not sure when it all began,

I never thought I needed others,

So it’s hard to understand

The how and why these altered feelings

Have changed my life which has always been

About books.

I thought that books were all I’d need

To befriend me, to favorite authors who

Would guide me as I traveled

Through life–

From the early Alcott’s Little Women,

The first book my mother bought for me

One Christmas. For a while it was my

Only book—so I read it over and over again–

To my first five Nancy Drew’s that

My brother Jim somehow managed to get for

Me another Christmas.

I have never been satisfied

just to read them,

Books were a major part of my life

And I wanted to own them.

But now…as I turned seventy-seven,

I am beginning to feel that

Books are no longer the greatest


Part of the love of a book

Is being able to tell someone about it.

Joy was having a partner who

Loved books as much as I

And now he is gone—

And I didn’t know

That I was lonely

And now I am.

—Sandra Lee Smith



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