The Inheritance of Books…

So today is going to be a bit of a strange day as we scatter Gran’s (and half of my Granddads, which seems strange too) ashes and say a final farewell to her. It’s sure to be a day of mixed emotions and knowing us Savidge’s there will probably be hysteria from all extremes, laughter and tears.

As she was such a big part of the blog, as regular readers will know, and of my life on and off the blog I thought I would mark the day in some way. What could be more apt than sharing the books that I have inherited from her.

032It has to be said that when I was asked to go through her books and take what I liked there were three thoughts. First, I just wanted to regime them all because the idea of them going out the family bothered me. Secondly, I thought how she loved lending books and buying second hand books and wouldn’t it be nice to continue that tradition with her books. Thirdly I thought about how bloody many she had, even after my mother and aunts had been through them, and so I decided to pick books in a certain way. Initially I decided to take the books of hers I had read and had on my shelves but were her editions.

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There seemed something rather special and pay about this until again I realised that we’d read so many in common. So I changed tactics and took ones I had read and lent and never got back from other people, or books I had but her edition is nicer. I love the idea of our personal libraries merging.

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Next I turned to any books by my favourite authors. Now you might think there would have been hundreds of these but I have a bad habit, if I love an authors book I invariably go on a hunt/spree (second hand shops then readitswapit then regular trips to a bookshop) to find all the others of theirs. I’ve curbed it somewhat but it still happens and Anne Tyler and Nevil Shute, as you can see were two top choices. The Shute’s are particularly special as Gran used to have these editions by her bed in our old house Sunbury when I was really little till I was about 12 so many memories there with those.

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After that it may look a bit like a free for all but there was still method to my madness, what books had I not read that a) Gran had told me I must read b) would have liked me to read. These I split three ways; classic, modern…

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And of course non fiction, something that I’m not the best reader of, Gran was especially stuff around WWI and WWII, but want to improve with.

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I do have to admit I did take a selection of books just because they looked pretty. Any special series Penguin do are generally a treat to behold, Great Ideas are no exception. I probably won’t read them but I don’t think Gran ever did either, no disrespect Gran. Ha!

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What has been lovely is since getting them home I have been sorting them (into hardbacks, paperbacks and then in alphabetical order) and as doing so I have discovered more of Grans reading habits. She often wrote her name in the front and the date she got it and then the date she read it. Occasionally other relatives (my mother or aunties Caroline and Alice) names appear in the inlay, I’ve not told them. Oops. What’s been doubly lovely are the books that are inscribed by her friends and indeed my Granddad (as you’ll see below on her 43rd birthday when I was 3) which conjure lovely images of relationships and friendships don’t you think?/p>

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I was sad I couldn’t take the remaining ones with me, there is only so much WWI and WWII literature anyone can stomach though. Ha. Jokes aside the idea some shared reads we had and now in a combined library is a lovely one. Even more lovely is that with all the books I’ve not read and have ahead, I can think that Gran was flicking those pages and reading those words before me, so we are still reading together in a way.

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18 Comments

Filed under Book Thoughts, Granny Savidge Reads, Random Savidgeness

18 responses to “The Inheritance of Books…

  1. This is really wonderful–I love how you made your choices and how your Gran’s books are now a part of your library.

    My Nonny read romances and what *she* deemed “Historical Fiction” (really just more romances), so needless to say, all her books were donated when she passed. Heh.

    I’ll be thinking of the Savidges today.

  2. JanetD

    Just wondering how you managed to find space in your new home for all those wonderful bookmemories but know you will have made room some how! Hope today brought back wonderful memories and wasn’t too stressful.

  3. pam

    simon, this was a lovely post. best to you today.

  4. kaggsysbookishramblings

    What a wonderful reader your Gran was, Simon – such lovely books. I like the idea of merging her books with yours, in a kind of organic way, so your library contains part of her. You were very strong to resist taking them all! Sending you positive vibes for today – a good howl is inevitable but necessary.

  5. Reading together, in a way, no doubt. A loving post, well done.

  6. Great piece Simon, she had excellent taste in books.

  7. Beautiful post and photos. I know today will be emotionally taxing. Hugs to you and the rest of the family!

  8. All those wonderful penguins your gran had. A lady after my own heart. Thinking of you today. cheers mate.

  9. I see a Nevil Shute I have never even heard of before. So Disdained. I wonder if it had a different title in the U.S.? Must check that out.

  10. Your Gran really was marvellous, Simon – such eclectic reading taste and so many books I would love to read myself.

  11. What a lovely selection of books and wonderful way to remember your gran as you read them

  12. cindy

    What a lovely way to spend a day, though tinged with a lot of sadness. I’m sure your gran was looking down and smiling, if you believe in such things (which I do when it suits my ends). The books look great – a lady of taste (only saying that because it looks similar to mine).

    Best wishes and happy reading!

  13. This is so lovely. You Grandmother looked like a reader with great and wide ranging taste. And i love the books inscribed to her.

  14. What a lovely way to remember someone and keep them with you, here’s to another lifetime of happy reading.

  15. We’ll be missing your gran on the blog, Simon. Hugs to you and such lovely books to remind you of her. You are blessed to have had her in your life.

  16. What a lovely thing to do. And the inscriptions – truly emotional Your posting reminded me of my granny. One abiding memory of her was how she would rip out the fly leaves of library books to use as writing paper. How the library never found out, I’ll never know. What’s worse, it was my granddad who borrowed them, as her English wasn’t too great for English language books (she was a Gaelic speaker).

  17. Louise Trolle

    I love all the thought you put into this :-)

  18. How lovely that she inscribed them so you can learn a little more about her relationship to that book. I’ve started doing something similar recently since seeing that a friend at work does it, but it loses something in my boring modern handwriting (my workmate has beautiful italic script).

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