I am fan of 60 Minutes, are you? Last week one of the co-hosts asked their viewers, “Have you ever wondered what Andy likes?” Andy, of course, is Andy Rooney, the resident curmudgeon of 60 Minutes. Bless his heart—in real life, the man gets paid to complain.
Last Sunday, however, Andy—Complainer-At-Large—took us to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, which he LOVED. I’m with Andy Rooney. I love books. More than 20 years ago, my mom gave me a button which says, “So Many Books—So Little Time.” I still feel this way.
I’ve probably owned thousands of books in my lifetime. Periodically, I get a hankering for clearer shelves so I go through them and give some away or sell them. Then, I buy more. For me, a motto might read: More Books Is Better Books.
One thing Andy said on Sunday was that some books are just meant to sit on our shelves. We don’t have to read them to enjoy them. I have owned several in this category. One of my all-time favorites was a Nicole Hollander book of Sylvia cartoons. I owned it for the title alone which was My Weight Is Always Perfect for my Height—Which Varies. I didn’t need to read the book. The title said it all.
I have some special, old books that bring me joy just to see them. One is my great grandmother’s first edition of Emerson’s Essays. A friend has already asked that I leave it to him in my will! Another is an 1848 Holy Bible. In it is a card in that same great grandmother’s handwriting. It’s addressed to my mom and it says:
Dear Linda, this is your great-great-grandmother’s Bible. I thought you might like to have it.
Her name was Anna Ripley Kline.
Her daughter’s name was Sophia Jane Kline Mooney.
Her daughter’s name was Lucia Mabel Mooney Burton.
Her daughter’s name is Lucia Burton Jackson.
Her daughter’s name is Linda Jackson.
My mother’s handwriting takes over as she adds her married name:
Her daughter’s name is Susan Lucia Falk Corso.
That’s six generations of reading women. I know that if he could hold the book in his hand, Andy would love it.