Mother had a love of books. She would spend all her spare time reading mysteries, science fiction, or tawdry dime store novels when she was not busy yelling at us. You would almost always find her in her recliner with a book in one hand and a cigarette in the other hand.
Her books took a lot of abuse as she was rough on everything. She bent back pages, used a corner for her bookmark and they all had a heavy essence of “eau de cigarette” smell. The binding was also always ruined since she liked the book to lay smooth on her ample lap.
Abby and I did not find out until much later that Mary did not like borrowing books from the public library. She wanted to own the books and then I guess she felt free to destroy them.
The fact they also had a due date bothered Mary. She did not take kindly to anyone or any institution telling her what to do. No matter that they were not her books. This was a personal affront to her and she felt that it attacked her character. She had a policy in life that she would do things in her time. She would return the books when she was damn good and ready.