She sat with her nose in the novel as my brothers fought over something, what I don’t know. It really didn’t matter. What mattered was all hell was breaking loose and my mom, the more than avid reader, continued to read.
“Mom!” I said with some urgency. “They’re going to kill each other.”
“Mmmm…” she replied without making a move. I could see there was no getting through to her while the book was planted firmly in her grip. So I did the only thing I thought I could do… I snatched the book right out of her hand and jumped back a good two feet from where she sat. Her eyes shot up to meet mine in disbelief. She was utterly surprised, almost confused as to where she was. That’s when my mom heard the ruaucus my brothers were making and jumped up to intervene.
My mom has a problem….she’s addicted to books. You think I’m kidding, I know, but really… there is no other way to describe her fetish for books. I’m not sure if she always read or if she turned to books to escape from five children, four who were boys. But ever since I was small my mom has read. I can still see her sitting in a chair reading late into the evening, or resting on a lounge chair in the sun with a book in her hand. She’s the type of addict that even carried her book in her purse! I remember when the “book cover purse” arrived on the market, my mom thought it was just the cat’s meow. She could “camouflage” her latest read. But of course we all knew what she was up to. What she didn’t know was we were always aware when she was secretly reading… we could get away with murder. My mom disappeared into her books for hours, living life in another place and time. I know, I know…it sounds like she ignored us. If she had been smart she would have. But the truth was, she was and still is a very devoted mom. She was the PTA mom, Booster organizer, perfect neighbor AND Crazy lady that carried her book around… so she could read a few lines here or there between her very active children.
Recently I went home to visit my parents. My mom is in her seventies now and still fun to be with…until the book comes out. Still she reads like a crazy fool.
“Mom,” I said. “You can read when I’m gone! Put the book down!” (I felt like I was the MOTHER!)
“But I’m almost done, and you know this is the best part…” she said sheepishly.
How could I deny her the end of the book? So I shuffled back to my guest room to flop down on my futon, because heaven knows there isn’t room for a bed in my mother’s READING ROOM! On all four walls as high as my eyes could take me there were books alphabetized by author. THOUSANDS of BOOKS! I know you think I’m kidding, but see for yourself. I began counting, as I had done many times before when I slept in this room during a visit. (It’s like counting sheep…I’d be exhausted at 1, 219 and be out like a light.) But somewhere during my counting, I began reading the titles and authors, and looking at the covers…and I realized I have no real idea how many books now graze the walls of this room, but I do know that MY MOTHER IS ADDICTED TO BOOKS! VERY ADDICTED TO BOOKS!
And so I got to thinking about my twenty-one year old daughter. I was in her college apartment recently when she asked me for a new bookshelf. I surveyed her room and noted the books piling up three walls. She is my mother reincarnated… SERIOUSLY! From the time she could read she fell in love with books. We could not “borrow them” from the library. She had to buy her own books and keep them. So over the years she has accumulated enough books for a library to give her grandmother a run for her money. Years ago when the Kindle came out, I thought… Wow! I could get my daughter this and she’d be in heaven. Oh NO! Not a Kindle, tablet nor anything else that was not a book was allowed in her life!
“Mom,” she began, “Any REAL literature major wouldn’t be caught dead reading a book on a tech device! We love the feel of the book, the smell…it’s the whole experience mom! Don’t get me one of those damn things…I WON’T use it.”
I smiled a sly smile and nodded my head. I had to agree with her…there’s nothing like a good book in your hands drawing you into a world unlike your own. I wouldn’t insult her by giving her the book of the future. Instead we trucked down to a nearby book store and used the money I would have spent on the tech device to bring home another stack of books. We were both in heaven.
I guess it is a good thing to have a mom who loves to read…for she passed her love of literature to all of us children and I, to mine. I’m almost afraid to read a novel because, to be honest, I am just like my mother, my daughter is like me…we see no evil, hear no evil….We just read and the world passes us by. I NEVER pick up a book to read if I know I have something else I should be doing. But if there is nothing on the schedule, I will read day and night and go without food to finish the book I’m reading. It’s just in the blood…
We were born to read, we have an addiction to books!
#addiction to books