when you reach a certain age

most likely

You can look around you and see

the many things

you have acquired

over the decades;

Some, surely,

Remnants of childhood,

Photographs and

a little dress your

grandmother crocheted for you

and you wore it

until you were almost seven

years old;

While many things from your childhood,

such as the dollhouse and your dolls

were lost along the way

most given away by your mother

who considered it her prerogative

to do as she wished

with your things

or those of your siblings

so that many of y our belongings

and those of your sisters and brothers

were given away or burned in

one of your mother’s bonfires;

it appeared that none of it was ever

really yours,

so that as you grew up and older

and moved far from home,

you began to acquire things,

many things,

things you could keep or give away–

because they were yours and yours alone.

and somehow, because books were what

you treasured most,

books began to fill your life, lining the

walls of your home and every nook and

cranny; Oh, yes, there were other things

that took up space as well–cookie jars

and recipe boxes and rolling pins and

cookie cutters, lighthouses and figurines

salt and pepper shakers and cabbage

patch dolls and dollhouses–not one

dollhouse but half a dozen dollhouses.

You recognize that you are replacing

all the lost things of your childhood

but are  unable to stop the collecting–

especially the collecting of books

until you have more books than some

libraries. But wait!  Your mother didn’t

give your books away!  So how do

you explain being a book collector?

I must have been a  librarian in a

former life, you say, and shrug.

What does it matter?

Sandra Lee Smith

originally posted April 1, 2010

Updated August 2, 2018




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