I read non-stop in March and April while my wife stayed 26 days in the hospital. The town library was a favored haunt. During a visit I borrowed a book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I didn’t care for the book. But I carried it with me everywhere I went so I could read it during odd moments and earn the right to say that I had finished it. All the while, thanking my lucky stars I hadn’t bought it. However, I forgot to lock the pickup and someone forced me into buying a book I couldn’t keep.
In my old age I have little defense against forgetting to lock up behind me. While visiting the overflow room at the library I found Barren Ground authored by Ellen Glasgow and published in 1925. On the back cover the publisher states that she was a self-taught scholar, a precursor to Faulkner, and others. Her descriptions are so thorough the characters seem to live across the hall. I’ve known them all my life.
Now, even though the book cost only fifty cents I don’t take it with me for fear the book thief might be lurking about.