Dorothy Was Right, by Amy Nicholson
This post is part of 805's “My Home Library” series that features writers and artists enjoying their home libraries during the pandemic and beyond.
“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”
This quote was particularly apt in 2020. With the rise of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, we were in lockdown. We were urged to stay safe, stay home. For those with travel plans, this was a problem. For me as a homebody and bibliophile, it served as an excuse to soak in the blessings of home and dive into books.
When I finished the library book I had begun before lockdown, I returned it. Shortly after, the library closed to patrons. It had always been my home-away-from-home. How would I fill the void until the library opened again?
I looked at my own bookshelves and realized that was a silly question. I had tons of books! The pandemic was the perfect time to read some of the books I’d been collecting but had never read. Giving more attention to my long-neglected bookcases was like looking at my husband of twenty-six years with fresh eyes. Hey there, Gorgeous. I’ve been taking you for granted all this time, but now that I’ve stopped to appreciate you, I remember all the reasons I fell in love with you. There were stories I’d never read, places I’d never been (even if only in my mind), people I’d never met. I zigged and zagged through time and space, grabbing whatever book struck my fancy. I went from the medieval monastic mystery of Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose to post-Civil War Ohio in Toni Morrison’s ghost story, Beloved.
Then there were familiar ones I’d lovingly return to. I reread Anne of Green Gables and found comfort in the fact that I knew what came next, and it always brought me the fresh sea breeze of Prince Edward Island. Missing the ocean, I reread excerpts of Anne Morrow Lindberg’s Gift of the Sea. At the same time, reading brought me solace and adventure.
Our library now offers curbside service. I can request a book online and pick it up at the library. I did this a couple times when my literary cravings extended beyond my own shelves. I will probably do it again. But for now, I will stick with what I’ve got. After all, there’s no place like a home library. Especially since my dear husband built me a new bookcase.
In addition to reading voraciously, Amy Nicholson substitute teaches. She also writes at home by a waterfall in Northwest Connecticut where she lives with her husband (who also teaches when he is not building her bookcases and looking the other way while she fills them) and their three amazing children and one amazing dog. Amy has been published in The Old Schoolhouse, Country Woman, and Today's American Catholic among other places. Her published clips and musings can be found at amynicholson14.wordpress.com.