Listening to the audio version of Neil Gaiman’s book A View from the Cheap Seats has sparked memories of my Gramma, my love of books, and bookstores. Gramma shared with me her love of learning and reading into old age. Truth be told if it weren’t for eyes she would have continued to read. Looking at all the technology we have today it’s disappointing audio books weren’t more popular or at least more accessible. She might have continued with books a bit longer.
Gramma was a schoolteacher when she met my grandfather. After they got married, she became a housewife. She would help out at school on occasion where my Aunt and Dad were attending elementary school but nothing steady. So it was natural she would be the one to teach me about books and introduce me to bookstores. I see bookstores in the same way others view libraries. By the time I came along Gramma got a job outside of the home. She managed the bookstore for a local college. Bookstores are what she knew. As the manager for the bookstore she would see all the new book releases, even the children’s books. When she found ones she like Gramma knew where in town they could be purchased. She usually got a discount as a college employee. I can still remember Servatus’s it was a local book store. I remember the first time I went with her. I could spend hours looking at the picture books. It got to the point where she would stop taking me in because it would take forever to get me back out into the car. While most children have favorite toys at their grandparents’ home. I had favorite books. My favorite thing as a child was to have her read to me. This left such an impression on me I wanted the chair we used to sit in when she read to me after she passed away. Everyone else in the family thought it was the ugliest thing ever. For me it was an unconditional love. I even have the chair I sat in at her house to read when I was too big to sit on her lap.
Looking back now I was on the path to being a writer. I’m not sure what happened. How did I become so distracted? My love of books and writing hasn‘t changed, it only shifted. This re-awaking of these memories has been good for my soul. It‘s brought on a renewed sense of purpose and ignited my creativity.