Fusty old books

Fusty is a word. Fusty and musty share space in my synonym finder. Now, if I can only recall the word during my next cut-throat Scrabble game. Old books do something to me, the way they feel and smell. I inherited a box of old books from my parents via my writer-grandmother; Stevenson’s Treasure Island, a first edition copy of Ben Hur-The Tale of Christ, Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad dated 1899, a collection of poems by Robert Browning.  The books don’t sit in airtight boxes for protecton; they’re out in the open where I can enjoy their mystery.

Who owned these books? How many homes and hands did they travel through? What impact did these classics have on the readers?  One thing I do know, my fusties won’t be donated to any eager book collectors in my lifetime. I can imagine my daughters someday tossing them on the giveaway pile because this author’s offspring never acquired the “awe” for books. Raised on a ranch, they were too busy grooming 4-H animals to sit and savor words like Mom did. Being a lonely-only child, books were my pals helping me escape to another world. They spoke to me in the secret place in my soul where I searched for meaning.

Where our treasure is, there will our heart be also the Bible says.  The books we collect define us. If you want to know someone in a hurry, peruse her bookshelf and you’ll find what are her interests, passions, and value system.

What do my fusty old books say about me? That I’m stuck in the past? No,but I have a passion for history that grows as I age. I want to embrace each moment of life in this crazy modern culture with a respect for our rich past and the invaluable lessons it will teach us.


  1. Hi Jan, I am an old friend of your dear sweet husband. We were high school friends…we’ve even eaten rattle snake together. The little he has shared with me about your past has much in commom with mine. Isn’t God good…He has sooooo much more for us than we can imagine. And I am sure Carl is one of those gifts. I too got a chance at love again, my honey is Ron. I know he was God sent. I can’t even imagine life without him. He’s just a baby, only 51 to my 60 years. I once said to him that I wished we had met sooner. He reminded me that I was graduating high school when he was beginning elementary school. Imagine, I could have been his babysitter. But he’s an ol’ soul and we do quite well. Send me the titles of your books…I would love to read them. I have many of my Dad’s old books by the way and I love them too. And there is something about the smell of a good old book. One of my grandsons got Papa’s set of Mark Twain’s books. Sorry to keep you so long, but any wife of Carl’s is a friend of mine.


  2. I love this. My mom was an English professor and ran their bookstore in Houston. I did acquire her love for learning and books as treasures. I just used that scripture you used in my speaking time last week. Glad we are such kindred spirits. You ignite that flame again wherever you go! Blessings


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