Another nearby house set back from the street, overgrown with trees and bushes, lured me in many times. A shell of a place. Three rooms downstairs plus a big side porch and a toilet closet. The house remained as it was in past days--plumbing-free and without electricity. The upstairs had two open rooms. This place became my haunt. One day it went up for auction. My mom had the high bid. Sixty dollars. The land had no resale value because of a 99-year land lease, something to do with the defunct mining company. Now my brother, sister, and I officially possessed a playhouse. It was time to explore the attic. After climbing through the dark rafters, we carried down a traveling case containing a Catholic prayer altar and two old books. One was a volume of Shakespeare, the other a slightly charred-looking copy of Gone With The Wind. I've moved many times but have kept these books all of these years.
I prefer hardcovers. Packing and unpacking boxes of heavy books during my many moves led to finally giving in and donating most of them. My allergies don't miss that dusty book smell, but my internal librarian pines for each rehomed friend.
Those hundred books and more, each one spoke to me and said I'd need it then or maybe sometime in the future as a piece of my personal puzzle.Books have propelled my life and given me a home. The words flowing from someone's pen or keyboard flooded a page and carried me to places and adventures I needed to go out and experience for myself. Maybe that's why I'm always on the move. Home is where the words dwell.