Skip to content

A House of Books

January 21, 2012

Reading this story on Soulemama’s blog reminded me of our own odd story…a strange part of our courtship more my story then his.


It was just shy of the top of the hour when she called…I know because I was getting ready to go on air and  read the local news…

“The tenant has moved out of the apartment, ” my grandmother called to tell me and I didn’t know why I should care. I was newly pregnant. I barely had time for books as I was   single and working incredibly long hours  at the radio station and managing a store. I had to save up enough money so I could spend more time home with the baby after he was born.
“I was wondering if you would like his bookshelf… it is full of books and the shelf is nice…otherwise I will just donate it.”
“Sure I will swing by on Sunday. Talk to you then.” I went back to reporting local burglaries and the five day forecast.

I remember I was bored one day and I went through this strangers books… I had taken the shelf and all that it held. Most of the books led me to believe the previous owner had been crazy….which only validated the conclusion I was coming to about all men.

 I wanted to throw out his books… redo the shelf, but something always stopped me.

One snowy day I found something I had overlooked, right between Williams Burroughs “Junky” and a college psych book was a Newsweek… and it was about developing babies brains. How to nurture and help them to take in the world around them. The date on the cover was an obvious indication he had saved this for over a year or more…tucked in tight so he wouldn’t loose it. New in my ever advancing  pregnant skin and not wanting to draw attention to my ringless hand…I hadn’t bought any books on pregnancy or babies. But right there in the quiet I wondered why a twenty something man would hold onto this Newsweek on babies.

A Spring thaw came to a portion of my hard heart.

Something about that magazine smooth and well preserved amongst all those other crazy books of Jack Kerouac’s made me curious about the previous owner. During those months of pregnancy with no extra money for books and such, I would occasionally flip through his college text books and learn which college he attended and that he barely cracked the books as they had that “fresh book” feel when you opened them. There were receipts from Dale’s Drum shop used as bookmarks.   He seemed to like Kerouac’s books best as he had a few and they had drips of coffee on dogeared page corners. Yet I would always come back to the Newsweek… and I kept it just as well preserved.  I would tell myself I kept reading it over and over because I wanted to help my baby… but there was something more.  I knew my heart needed to know there were men who cared about something other then themselves.


One Sunday morning while my then one year old son ran around a lobby of a big conference center…a familiar face walked up to me…
“Hey…I have your bookshelf,” I said glancing his way.. “you have some seriously messed up books, ” I said jokingly, feeling like I knew more about him then I should…like I had read his diary or something…but I hadn’t…that wasn’t among the others on the shelf.
“Oh yeah?… what’s so weird about them? his eyes watched Cal lapping the area…”is that your little guy? He seems really smart.” he gestured towards my toddler stacking and unstacking the magazines.

Ben asked me to marry him four months after that conversation.

We were married six weeks later.

The first gift he ever bought my son … a little book.


For other Posts on Marriage and Love:
An Anniversary of Heavy Breathing
How to Not push your Husband down a Hill
Love Tank... featured at the Simple Mom links, thanks again Tsh
Grow as a Worshipper
walk in love.

For more on life as a single parent…
Part of the Whole Story
Drummer Boy.
Blinking Back Pregnant Tears

21 Comments leave one →
  1. January 21, 2012 10:04 am

    aw bless him Lord…great story…(a little tid bit of info that was left out…T grabbed my hand and we ran out to the jeep to find her hair brush as she raked through her long blonde (then) hair she pulled out some lipgloss and smudged in on her cupids bow lips- I hadn’t EVER seen her act like this…ever! “Kells, he’s here! I mean HE’S actually here! he came back!!!” I sat there in bewilderment…but now looking back I now know, she in her heart had “known” all along it was him…

    • January 21, 2012 10:13 am

      oh sissybutt..shut
      I may have … but I don’t remember that part…I mean.. I was pretty cute anyway that day it was over a decade ago….
      I do remember the part where I told you to get his email address…and then it all swirled away.

  2. steve espamer permalink
    January 21, 2012 10:09 am

    awesome story!

  3. January 21, 2012 10:28 am

    God is amazing and so is my Wife and Family. I would still be stuck on the road in 1959 if it were not for this woman. Glory to God for bringing amazing people into my life.

    • January 21, 2012 10:39 am

      Awww your cute… I bet you have a crazy bookshelf.
      you are my kind of crazy.

  4. January 21, 2012 11:41 am

    “Hey…I have your bookshelf,” I said glancing his way.. “you have some seriously messed up books, ” I said jokingly, feeling like I knew more about him then I should…like I had read his diary or something…but I hadn’t…that wasn’t among the others on the shelf.”

    This is priceless. It is so true what we can learn from another from their books. That’s what I hate lending mine out. It would certainly confirm – I’M MESSED UP. Especially those highlights that I do. Beautiful story – thanks!

    • January 21, 2012 11:52 am

      Yep… But everyone …and i mean everyone has messed up books.. So rest assured…we are all messed up
      It’s okay…we are loved, messed up books,lives, families and all.

  5. emily m. permalink
    January 21, 2012 5:17 pm


  6. January 21, 2012 9:48 pm

    What a great story. Wow! I love it. Reading his secrets before you even knew him…

  7. January 22, 2012 12:59 am

    So glad you posted this–a very well-written account of what was an amazing story in blurb format, posted on someone else’s blog! Stumbled upon you after that soulpapa post this past week–and so glad I did. My very best to you & yours, and thanks for sharing! xox

    • January 23, 2012 7:59 am

      seriously thank you… you are wonderful to affirm this in me…it was always my little story…and now seeing it through others eyes I see so much more …
      so thank you …to you and to all who encouraged me and brought this little story out.
      Be blessed,

  8. January 22, 2012 11:27 pm

    Oh it is like a fairy tale and they lived happily ever after!!!! This was wonderful to stop by and read! So much delightful fun!

  9. January 23, 2012 12:36 pm

    Wow. Loved this.

  10. January 23, 2012 2:02 pm

    Oh wow! Doesn’t God work in amazing ways? What a blessing — thanks for sharing this inspiring story from your life!

  11. January 29, 2012 4:40 pm

    That is the most adorable story! That wasn’t at all where I expected the storyline to go, which made it all the better! You just never know!! Thanks so much for linking up such a sweet post!!

Leave a Reply to aseedinspired Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: