A Box of Old Books

It’s day five of my daily writing experiment, and I’m already treating it like a college paper, feverishly transcribing my thoughts an hour before it’s due, crossing my fingers for no errors and rave reviews. In this case, the rave reviews would be from my mom since I downloaded the Medium app for her last night. (Hi, mom.)

I’m staying at my parents’ house this week, so I volunteered my broad skill set (ranging from fishtail braiding to guacamole making) in case mom needed help with anything. Today, she decided it was a good day to clean out the garage. As with most garages, my parents’ garage houses a myriad of random items, which was great for me, because American Pickers is my favorite show.

Since Longaberger baskets aren’t my jam, and half the stuff in there used to me mine anyway, I didn’t do much bartering. Besides baskets, there were books. Sooooo many books, all stored in blue plastic totes. Most of them were books no one else would ever care about. Books that have our names scribbled in them. Like The Magic School Bus paperbacks and historical biographies and elementary school yearbooks and — gold mine — my sister’s old journal.

But I found a small white copy paper box of books tucked away, separate from the rest, that really caught my attention. And unlike Mike and Frank on American Pickers, I didn’t have to name a price.

“If you want those, you’re welcome to them.” -Mom

Thanks, mom.

The box held several books that belonged to my grandma, my mom’s mom. She was a reader. In fact, she might have even downloaded the Medium app on her iPad so she could follow me on here. But then, if she were still around, I wouldn’t be writing this post about finding her books in my parents’ garage. And she was more into reading about Native Americans, anyway.

I found a big, blue book from 1945 titled, History of World War II. Riveting title, I know, but the book is beautiful. Even if my husband doesn’t read it (I definitely won’t), it’ll look pretty on our booshelf. It was hers, after all.

Lucy and the Madcap Mystery was the next one I pulled out. It has a picture of a cartoony-looking Lucille Ball on the cover holding a flashlight, doing her best Nancy Drew impression. Definitely reading that one. A Tale of Two Cities, a sweet little book from 1931 of sermon stories titled, The Little Brown Church of the Air, and For Whom the Bell Tolls followed.

They’re begging to be read. Skimmed, at the very least. If I had found this throng of literature at an antique store, I’d most likely pass them up. It’s the history that gets me. Knowing they were hand-picked by my grandma, possibly read by her, placed in her home, then in my parents’ garage. I couldn’t leave them at the Goodwill drop-off, not knowing where came from.

So I’ll strap them into my SUV and drive them down to Tennessee next week. I’ll make room for them on my crowded bookshelves. I might even read them.

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