My father passed away last week, so we have been busy cleaning out the house. Daddy loved to read and had tons of books. It is a legacy passed down for several generations. My great-grandmother belonged to book clubs and often purchased hardcovers. In the tradition of the day, she removed the covers and would paste the book summary in the front cover. She also signed every book to ensure they would always come back to her.
Dad loved to read his grandmother's books. He found many of them to be intriguing and better written than most contemporary novels. His goal was to read through the shelf full that he had already gotten, and to eventually get more of them from his aunt's house. Alas, he didn't live long enough to do so.
I would love to keep all of her books, to keep the legacy alive. But there just isn't the time nor the space for me to do so. Instead, I have been picking out favorite authors and familiar books, or checking the summaries for something that truly grabs me.
Tonight there was one bookshelf that I had not yet closely perused. I thought it was all my mother's books, as it was in her room. Suddenly my eye was caught by the words "du Maurier." Daphne du Maurier is one of my all-time favorite authors. I first read Rebecca in the 8th grade and have reread it numerous times since. My father and also loved to watch the movie.
I have read some of her other books, mostly through paperbacks that I have picked up at garage sales and used bookstores. Today's find was The Glass-Blowers. When we were at my great-aunt's house the night before my father died, I had found another du Maurier on her bookshelf. As I lovingly held it in my hands to just look at it, she told me to go ahead and take it to keep.
There is something truly magical about being the fourth generation to hold a book in your hands and to love it. I may have lost my family, with both Grandma and Dad dying within nine months, but I have found a new legacy to help hold onto their memories.