One of the delusions which can afflict readers (though a similar affliction awaits those who watch television, go to movies, or simply read the newspaper) is that we tend to believe that the dramatic stuff happens to other people. Other people take over pirate ships and sail the seven seas in search of riches and romance. That would never happen to you and me, though we may read about it. Other people huddle in caves while the weather and enemy troops conspire to bring their noble quest to an end. This sort of drama does come to people with lives like ours. Other people learn their spouse is secretly an alien clone. We do not expect this to happen in our own lives. Other people pick up a shiny pebble and are catapulted into a complex smuggling scheme. Not you and me. Other people’s mothers die.
I write to note the passing of the person who taught me that having books piled all over everywhere is the only way to live. (My whole family is literary and literate, but most of them never bought into the Book Heap school of interior design.) She liked a book with a laugh in it, and liked to have it sitting around in case she wanted to read it again. In fact, she didn’t mind having two or three copies, in case the first wore out. She finished her story on Saturday night of Book Fair weekend, entirely too young and entirely out of character: not like her at all to miss out on a Half Price Books day.
Besides, these things happen to other people.