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!