I’m going to do something totally weird.
I mean, seriously? Who writes a blog post on a book that they can’t remember?
Desperate people, that’s who.
This post is about the gap in my shelves, about the book that should be in there but isn’t. It’s about the book I lost.
Weird, right? But bear with me.
When I was younger, my favorite books were a big deal. I read them over and over again, reread my favorite parts, and never got tired of them. I had endless amounts of time for reading and a limited supply of new books. (Okay, it was four bookshelves and a library card. That’s almost limited, right?) I knew the exact spot on the shelf where my favorite books stayed, and I went back to them so often that they were rarely ever in their right place.
In short, I loved my books. Sometimes to death.
Yes, covers got worn. Pages that were already thin—we bought most of our books secondhand—grew fragile and tore. Paperbacks were taped up once or twice. Or six or seven times. No book—especially in a family of readers—lasts forever.
This one didn’t.
One day, I went to find it. And it wasn’t there. Not in its spot, not on the shelf. I couldn’t find it. It happens right? Books get old, they can be replaced.
Or, they can as long as you actually remember them.
I plead being twelve. What twelve-year-old remembers the author of a book? Or its title? I remember the story. I remember the faded feel of the pages, the adventure it took me on, the pictures the words created in my head. I remember the last chapter vividly, in almost word for word detail. In short, I remember what was important to me.
Now, I kind of wish I’d paid more attention to the cover. And the title.
The story followed the life of a grizzly bear, one of the largest and most dangerous predators in North America. I can remember vividly how enchanted I was by the details put into this bear’s life, from his struggle to survive as a cub to his cunning and ferocity when he was pitted against hunters and other predators. Given the amount of detail and almost historical quality of the book, I think it was based on a true story. He died in Death Valley in the last chapter.
If any of you happen to remember the title of this book, I would be very grateful. Until then, I will just leave a gap in my shelves for it.