A book for Suzy

Dog for Susie cover

Sometimes you love something just because you love it, and trying to explain why just diminishes it.

Those of you who read my blog know my name, you know I love dogs (especially pound puppies) and you know I love to read. A book called A Dog for Susie is just perfect for me. Do I really need to explain why?

I won’t explain why I still love this book nearly four decades after receiving it, but I will show you.

Dog for Susie “he needs me”

I really thought this book was long gone. In the great purge of my dad’s stuff just before Mom downsized to a smaller house a few years ago, we got rid of a TON of his things — along with a lot of my books, board games and other childhood paraphernalia.

You see, Dad was a packrat, I am a reformed packrat, and Mom and big brother J.T. are tossers. Therefore, lots of stuff plus the need to downsize, combined with two tossers, a reformed packrat and a river of emotion equals stuff getting thrown out or sold that the reformed packrat will later regret having let go.

And for the past few years I had assumed A Dog for Susie had fallen victim to the great purge.

Fast forward to 2008. Bruce and I are trying to downsize, too. Since he was disabled last year and lost gainful employment (you can’t really count his writing computer programs for me as gainful — I pay him in raspberry sherbet and cups of green tea), we have decided to sell our house. And, friends, we have a LOT of books. Even after filling a “to donate” box, we still won’t have room for all of them in a smaller house. Because we have three rooms with built-in bookcases (in the market for a house? we’ll show you!) and the donation box contains a pitifully small number of donations.

So the other day I was lamenting that I wished we hadn’t tossed A Dog for Susie and how could I have let that book go anyway and how could anyone love it as much as I did, and Bruce — who has nearly recovered from his medical complications and has been busy as a bee, packing our books — said, “No, that book is downstairs on the shelf.” I was skeptical. Thought he must think I was talking about a different book. But he took me straight to the shelf. And there it was: a book for Suzy.

If I didn’t kiss him — on the lips — I should have.

Sometimes a book is meaningful only to the one it belongs to. And sometimes a book is meaningful to that someone’s husband just because he loves books, too, and knows that sometimes you can’t explain why a worn-out children’s book means so much to a 45-year-old woman who edits newspapers for a living.

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” ~ Anna Quindlen

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4 thoughts on “A book for Suzy

  • Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 9:48 pm
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    I am with Anna and with you! What a great story – I have books like that mean so much to me, I would grab them on the way out during a fire. So great that your special book is safe at home – with you!

  • Monday, March 31, 2008 at 5:51 am
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    I love the Anna Quindlen quote! I hope your built in bookcases are a selling point for your house. They MUST go to someone who appreciates them! And I love it when you mention your dad in your blog. He was a special person to me too.

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm
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    i love that everyone out here loves books as much as me…cole is just starting to read on his own and discovering the wonderful worlds he can escape to. what a blessing it is to be able to read.

  • Tuesday, April 1, 2008 at 9:24 pm
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    I guess I need to tell you a story about a series of books that Peighton had been reading. She got depressed when she got to the end of the last one and was so sad b/c she thought that was the end of them. A new one was released before Easter so it was in her basket. She was so excited. She comes by her love of reading honestly. Runs in boths sides of my family.

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