Thursday, April 11, 2013

K is for King (as in Stephen)

You may think it’s odd that while writing my family stories, I’d slip Stephen King into the mix. I think it’s weird too, but I really can’t omit him. He’s been a part of my reading life for years. And my love for reading came from my mom.

I grew up hearing the story about how, as a youngster, she’d slip away from her chores to hide in a tree with a book. I can’t remember seeing her read much of anything all the time I lived at home, but she made sure I had books at my fingertips. She enrolled me in a book club that delivered a classic a month. She also ordered the Encyclopedia Britannica, believing without a doubt those books of knowledge would help us in school.  
While cleaning out my mother’s house, I came across a large box of Stephen King titles. I doubt if she read them. The last year or so, she's just enjoyed owning books, sitting in her chair and seeing them on her shelves … buying them. Yes, I said buying. Even though she didn’t drive, she found a way to shop. She scoured the classifieds of the local paper and when she saw books for sale, she’d call, tell them she was sending someone to pick them up. I found sacks and boxes of romances, mysteries and Stephen King.

I haven’t read Stephen since Pet Sematery, when he “showed” a young boy being dragged by an eighteen-wheeler down the highway. I couldn’t help sobbing during that scene and didn’t finish it. Packing up my mother’s books and coming across King—knowing she’d never read them—I felt much the same way. I knew too, those hard-back Kings that she probably couldn’t even lift, had given her a bit of comfort. A satisfied feeling. As if she’d read the last page and smiled.

Can you resist a Friends of the Library sale? Have you ever bought several copies of the same book? Wouldn’t you love to write a book that made someone sob? Me too!




Charles Gramlich said...

Your mom sounds like me. I used to hide in the barn to read so I could skip chores.

Sue McPeak said...

Thank-you for this glimpse into your early reading and the ones who inspired you. It reminded me of my Mom, who loves to read...something I didn't know growing up. I wish I had known. I could have done more chores, more of the cooking, and more babysitting so she would have time to read. Now, I read aloud to her, to heck with the chores! We both LOVE the reading time...together.
Sue CollectInTexasGal
AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

sue said...

thanks for your comment. hmm I'd rather write a book that made people laugh

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've donated books to Friends of the Library before. It's a great way to find cheap books and support the library. And yes, I do own more than one copy of a couple books. I used to loan those out and wanted to be sure I had one on my shelf at all times.

Man O' Clay said...

I'd love to come across just one child hiding in a tree, reading a book. They seem to scorn both the trees and the books these days...

Do you know for sure that your mom didn't read the books? Either way, the memory is one I smile at when I read it. Thank you for sharing!

Arlee Bird said...

I do like Stephen King, but I haven't read much by him. I've seen a lot of films based on his works and loved those. Like your Mom I have a lot of Stephen King books around the house that are unread. I need to get busy.

A Few Words
An A to Z Co-host blog