I have a little confession. All my life I’ve stashed books in various places. A book tucked under my bed, in the top drawer of the vanity, under my favorite shirt in the bottom chest of drawers, and, once, inside my riding boots. Silly kids stuff, right?
Did I fear my younger sister coloring the pages or the dog chewing on the bindings or my parents discovering their elementary-aged daughter was reading Peter Benchley’s Jaws?
Nope. It all started after I watched Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Firemen burned any house that contained books! As the niece of a fireman who could stop by anytime, you can see my fear-filled dilemma.
Now I know Bradbury’s intent focused on censorship, government control of individuals through media, and resistance to conformity (read more here), but as a child I didn’t quite understand the difference between fact and fiction. Did my uncle burn houses because he’d found a book inside, but then turn around and risk his life to put out a fire he’d started?
Of course not. But such is the mind of a child.
The Stash Grows:
As the years passed, I grew to treasure books more and more. I spent hours and hours in the library. Loaning one of my books only to find it returned with dog-eared pages had me snarling at the atrocity and vowing never to lend another book to the perpetrator. I’m not quite a hoarder, allowing myself only three hutch-sized bookshelves filled with “keepers,” but I certainly envied the local librarian.
What’s in my Stash?
Right now, I have an anthology titled The Unquiet, by J.D. Rob and others, and the book titled The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, near my vanity—I love anthologies and sometimes forget I’m at the vanity to spruce up, not read. Blake Snyder’s non-fiction book titled Save the Cat is taking up room near my spice cabinet in the kitchen, in case I want to bone up on structure while I’m stirring spaghetti sauce. The book Everything I Know About Love I Learned From Romance Novels, by Sarah Wendell, is in my end table drawer for inspiration. Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas Armageddon is in my nightstand along with Stieg Larsson’s book titled The Girl Who Played with Fire. Both read, I need to move them to the “keeper” book case and replace the space with something new. And a short story I found on Thomas Ryan’s website titled Ruth is stashed inside my car’s console in case I want some reading material while inside the car wash.
What I’ve discovered:
Although I’ve changed the reasons behind stashing books—no longer fear-based—I will never change my desire to understand the recesses of another’s mind scrolled onto the pages of a good book.
Okay, your turn.
Contest Time. Comment for a chance at a $5 Amazon gift card.
What book(s) have you stashed or keep close and why?