By Melinda Humphreys
Owner, Walls of Books, Cornelius, NC
The Comfort of Collections
I think I must be a collector at heart. Although my home does not reflect this—I am consistently drawn to books about people who surround themselves with the comfort of collections. Whether they are books, lost things, or people—these are the stories I collect.
A Collection of Scents
My most recent assortment began with The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister. This is a beautiful story of love, and loss, failure and redemption told through the voice of the young girl at the center of it all. Secluded from the world by her adoring father, he teaches her to read scents in a way that most of us rarely consider. I was fascinated to learn of this science, and thrilled the book was intellectual as well as emotional – although not too heady – the perfect balance of strength and beauty, as any good scent should be. The Scent Keeper comes out Tuesday, May 21st, and it is not to be missed.
The second title, also a mix of academia and relationship was The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri. An Italian story set in a remote town in southern Italy – an unforgiving landscape in both environment and culture. The dynamics at play in this book are an interesting study of human nature, connection, and instability. The central character, a brilliant, self taught student with questionable integrity leads his friends on an interesting journey of intellectual discovery that leaves one questioning what we think we know. Albeit, we get the answer in the end, it is through a roller coaster of a ride through the known and unknown worlds in his insatiable quest to collect information. Fair warning: a few chapters before the end, you’re thrown a twist that I feared would turn to the unbelievable. Keep reading!
A Collection of Lost Things
Lastly, I come to my current book choice, The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. Although I am only about halfway through, I do love this story. In his need to redeem what he has lost, Anthony collects what others have lost, culminating in a room that can only be described as the museum of lost things. Careful cataloging and imaginative storytelling accompany each artifact. As Laura, his protege, comes to be responsible for this treasure, she must decide to let her own past go. We’ll see if all ends up as expected, but so far it is a lovely story that I find to be completely endearing.
Melinda Humphreys owns a small used bookstore called Walls of Books in Cornelius, NC. She lives in the same town with her husband and youngest daughter. As much as she loves to read, her days are filled with shelving and talking about books. In her spare time she loves to create, and designs the stage at her church.