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These Books, by Jennifer Ammon

Volunteer editor Jennifer Ammon writes an ode to her personal book collection. This post is part of 805's "My Home Library" blog that features essays by writers who are sheltering in place during the Covid-19 pandemic. 805 is proudly published by the Manatee County Public Library System. We hope this blog will help Manatee County residents show off their home libraries, find comfort in books, and feel a connection to the library during this difficult time.

Sometimes they sit and wait, like you would for an important date

Sometimes I get one because of the buzz, or just because

Sometimes they’re just so fun, like Bad Kitty! And Cows With Guns

Sometimes they’re too darn heavy—The Iliad, anyone?

Sometimes it gets great reviews, but then I read it and think, P.U.!

Sometimes I open an old one and learn something new

Sometimes I need to read Leonard Maltin’s movie review

There are few things that take you to another place, another time,

another world, another person’s thoughts . . . but these books do.

I love how they live together in harmony, even though they’re

all different: some are artsy farsty; some are incomprehensible

(required boredom by English profs); some make me want to

throw them to the ceiling and yell, No way!; some I take my time

with and wait another day. Some I take to bed with me, waking in

the morning with the book still coddled in my hand. (Is that love?)

Faulkner sits next to Ionesco, Brontë leans against Harper Lee:

these books hold no grudges; they’re always there for me.

You know why?

There’s a large TV sitting between these books.

And that TV is often on instead of these books being cracked open—

instead of them being read.

But these books wait. They will wait and wait.

They know.

She’ll come back to me. The movie is never as good as the book.


Jennifer Ammon has an M.F.A. in creative writing from Florida International University in Miami. Since the event of COVID-19, Jennifer's life is not much different from her BC life of minimal socializing and lots of reading, writing, TV watching, computer noodling, and watching people from her patio, pretending to be in Rear Window.


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