Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Aftermath: A Short Essay About Marriage and Books

I’m getting married this Friday. This means there will be many changes coming up – including the fact that it will be the first time that I move. Who knew that the biggest (and perhaps even traumatizing) outcome of my future marriage would involve my books?

I was not one of those children that learned to read exceptionally early in life. My parents did not read to me and I learned how to during first grade. Once I started, however, it was impossible to stop. I’d hunt titles down in thrift shop after thrift shop with my mother trailing behind me. My parents may not have read to me, but they tended to enable me once they discovered that I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on. Since my parents spoke a different language and had yet to learn English, they didn’t have much say in the books I chose. This meant that I ended up reading paperbacks by Danielle Steel when I should have been reading The Babysitters Club books.

So, when I had to decide what to throw away, what to keep – I never considered getting rid of my books. Trip by trip, my library has slowly made it to its new destination. The more of them I move, the more I question why I need to keep books I’ve read when others do not question getting rid of them. What have books become for me that I cannot consider getting rid of them? Are they my friends? Family? Is it about pride? Am I a show-off?
The more I think about it, the more I realize the answer is All of the Above. Books have become a support for me. A different support than what actual friends and family can provide. They don’t yell, or talk back. They are always there. As for pride and being a show-off – yeah, maybe. It makes me proud to look at my bookcases and realize that I read each page in each of those books. I love to display them, not for everyone else to see, but for me. Their colorful covers and spines add liveliness to any room. Why wouldn’t I want to show them off?

I’m getting married this Friday. There are many changes coming up. I’ll eventually get used to almost every one of them. But what doesn’t change are those books, sitting on new bookshelves, waiting for me – making it home. 

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