Between the Books

Last week I was in the room of discarded books at my local library, scouring the shelves, when an interesting lady came around the corner. She was an older woman, wearing a black dress and low, black pumps. She even wore a black hat—the netted, funeral, boxlike type. I made room for her, and as she walked past me in the narrow aisle, I heard her humming to herself. I was intent on spine-scanning, but I thought the humming was nice because I hum all the time.

Old Books in the library
Old Books in the library (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She picked up a book, started flipping through it, and quietly chuckled to herself. I looked up from my book to glance at her. Most people do not start laughing to themselves immediately after opening a book unless they want to get your attention. Well, she had my attention, kept her nose in the book, and went on humming. It was a cookbook.

Being the judgmental sort that I am, I thought, “She’s probably not all there,” and turned back to my spines. She placed the book back in the shelf decidedly, walked by me with a polite, “Excuse me,” and left the room. I concluded she was eccentric. That’s when this quiet little thought slipped into my head: “I bet she’s a writer.”

I told Realm about this, and he asked, “What did she do that made you think that?”

“I don’t know… the humming, the classy outfit, the little laugh to herself. I can see myself doing that when I’m older. I mean, being eccentric.”

“So, you’re saying you plan to be eccentric?” he asked with an eyebrow raised.

McReynolds, Miss Haldane, Haldane  (LOC)
I think a hat like this would make me very happy. (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

“I don’t plan to be, but I know I will be. Most people, as they get older, become more persnickety and take on odd habits. I intend to embrace it.”

He shrugged. “I guess I can see that, but how eccentric are we talking here?”

“Well,” I thought aloud, “someday I want to wear just what I want to wear—and hats are one of those things I think I’ll probably start wearing as I become more eccentric. I will dress up to go places like the library, and I will dress down when I go to formal events. Really, it ought to be that way. The formal occasions are more uncomfortable because of pinching shoes and things. I don’t mind if my shoes pinch when I’m on a short outing to look at books, though.”

We were silent for a bit, and then he said, “I still haven’t figured out how, exactly, being eccentric and being a writer go together…”

“I guess they don’t,” I admitted with a shrug. Then I added in a dramatic whisper, “Maybe she’d just buried her third husband that morning and was indulging in a quiet laugh of triumph between the books.”

He shook his head at me as I chuckled to myself and returned to my humming.

Author: Rilla Z

I'm a scribbler. I'm genuine. My topics of interest are: this world, the worlds inside my head, and the world to come. Oh, and cups of tea. Yes, I write about my cups of tea.

10 thoughts on “Between the Books”

  1. “Then I added in a dramatic whisper, ‘Maybe she’d just buried her third husband that morning and was indulging in a quiet laugh of triumph between the books.’”—Well, I don’t know if the woman was a writer or not, but based on your wonderful imagination, I’d say you were! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Andrea! When I’m older, I’ll be less concerned with embarrassing my friends and my children. If not for that, and the expense of a fine hat collection, I would definitely start now. 🙂


  2. I howled with laughter & immediately called a friend to read this post to them! 😀 Yes, I can see you wearing big, majestic hats. With your kelly green tux jacket, of course. I’m not a writer, but I’ve already told hubby that when I get old, I’m moving to FL & I’m going to walk around in golf shorts with white tube socks up to my knees and white tennis shoes that never get stand on them. Judging from his response, he doesn’t understand eccentricity.


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