Magazine article Appalachian Heritage

Editor's Note

Magazine article Appalachian Heritage

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

At the beginning of the year, one of my dear friends, whom I believe to be one of the best readers I know, started a Facebook campaign. Each day she collects a bookdriving to purchase one from a bookshop in nearby Owensboro, ordering one online, or culling one from her deceased mother's collection that remains in storage. "Today's Accumulated Book" she labels her posts, and two hundred days into the year, she has amassed a library of varying genres and quality.

On the literary side, there is Thomas Merton's The Seven Storey Mountain, Jesse Graves's latest poetry collection Basin Ghosts, even an advance reader's copy of Marilynne Robinson's Lila--a book that my friend went to great trouble and online investigation to accumulate. There is the whimsical--100 Favorite Songs for the Ukelele (my friend doesn't play) and Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book (she makes some fine country ham and biscuits). And then there are the guilty pleasures, including Little Gloria ... Happy at Last--a biography of Gloria Vanderbilt--and Howard Fast's The Establishment, which chronicles the marriage trials of a former socialite and a poor mechanic.

I look forward to reading my friend's posts each day, wondering what kind of book she will collect, and I often reflect on how much the volumes mean to her, both individually and collectively. They are family members, treasured companions with which she has formed a relationship. In doing so, she agrees with writer and teacher Richard Hague, who observes in his book Lives of the Poem, "Poems are living things. …

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