I wandered into the Village Library. When I say Library it’s really a converted red telephone box. Just enough room to open the door and edge a few inches in before you are face to face with the books. It is well looked after and has a surprisingly large number of titles. But the book range reflects the village we live in. Clear indication of the type of literature residents read before they drop off the books at the Tardis. That’s the nickname our son gave to the ex telephone box- it’s from Dr Who for those scratching their heads.

So I perused the book covers. Jeffrey Archer, Catherine Cookson, Wilbur Smith, Le Carré, Agatha Christie. Books on farming, the military, Bridge Tactics, embroidery. You get the picture. But wait – one book stands out. Fifty Shades of Grey. Somebody’s brave – the village will be holding an investigation. I can see witch trials.

Then a sinking feeling. Bugger I brought that one. I do have a reasonable excuse. In the weeks after my partner died I was not really on this planet. People kept telling me to clear the house . Be organised, get on with stuff, don’t live in a mausoleum. So I quickly (probably too quickly) started sorting out many of her belongings. Clothes went to the Hospice charity. Books to the Village Library.

I really regret rushing the process. I should have done it when I was ready not when others thought it was the right time. Potentially really important memories might have been lost in the rush. I missed the chance of involving our son in the process (when he was ready of course). I’m sure the early purge did me no good at all. If anything it delayed the grieving process. It certainly didn’t help my depression. Just destabilised me further.

So yes back to Tardis. One of the books found in the house was Fifty Shades. She bought it I think for a train journey from the vast array (not) of books available at the station. I remember my partner saying it was tacky rubbish and she was going to send it out as a joke present. Sadly she never got the time to do that. So it was one of about 20 books that found its way to the library.

I can see the look on the faces of some of the village Bridge Club society. I remember the complaints the Utility Company received when they used ‘dirty’ sandbags to anchor down some of its road work signs on our Main Street. It’s stupid but I was genuinely embarrassed that I had dropped that book off. What are people thinking of me. Am I getting the dreaded tut tutting. He should know better, I thought he was a respectable person.

Should I quickly put the book into my pocket and destroy the evidence. I could even bury it on one of our dog walks – forever hidden in the woods, amongst hundreds of white flowers.

In the end I left it. You should never destroy books. Visions of that scene of book burning in the third Indiana Jones movie flooded my mind. It also really helped finding another dodgy book in the Library. Shockingly a Mills and Boon title.

But hang on a minute.

Now I’m panicking even more. My mum would read M&B books, she had a load of them. I cleared her house out. Surely not. Without thinking did I also add this book to the Library as well. Oh the shame. Grief does crazy things to you….

67 thoughts on “Racy Book

  1. I can just about imagine the even more furtive movements of the person who does borrow Fifty Shades – it makes me smile to think of it. But I am so sorry you were pushed into clearing things out before you were truly ready. Grief trips all of us up who experience it. This post made me smile AND simultaneously made me sad for you and your son. Hang in there.

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  2. Okay, two things – 1. I have destroyed a book. The Amityville Horror. I read that book and was so disturbed by it – that it was a real event! That when I was done I threw the book out. I couldn’t donate it – I thought someone else might release the evil in the book, so I threw it out in the dumpster in the apartment complex I was living in during grad school (my own trashcan was obviously too close to me – the book would be mad). I guess that is a little weird. 2. I did read the Fifty Shades book. There was so much hype! So I got it, read it – and yes, oh my! The story wasn’t one that kept me intrigued to keep buying the series. And I did donate that one (after hours with a bunch of others). Anyone could have done that, right? That is what I am hoping for 🙂

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  3. When my mum died she left behind a huge nude self portrait, I mean it was not far off lifesize. I didn’t know what to do with it, I couldn’t hang it as I didn’t feel up to the conversations about why I had my dead naked mother on the wall but I didn’t want to throw it out either. It lived in my attic for about a year and then I took it to a car boot sale, and sold it to to a man who was a big art fan and said he could ‘tell she was a passionate lady’ I didn’t mention it was my dead mother neither did I think through the experience of displaying and selling her in a public place….. you do strange thongs when you are grieving.

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      1. The laughing face was for it ‘doing strange things to me’ hopefully I have made you feel that your strange thing was very minor by comparison!!! Just to add to that it was a very impressionistic painting! 🤫

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  4. Times of great stress and discombobulation.

    Makes the mind do crazy things sometimes… no jury would convict you – on the grounds of ‘temporary’ mental insanity! 🙂

    That is a magic photo by the way. Yours??

    That place must smell Awesome!! What you have there, my dear sir, is a woodfull of ‘wild’ garlic, or ramsons. 🙂

    At least you’ll be safe from Vampires… or is it Werewolves??

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  5. Oh my, I confess I came over thinking…oooh.. the day is starting well. and it has in a different way. Seriously a great post and you are right we should never be book Nazis. I remember at the time that some wifey down south was for getting every copy she could of that book and burying it. I personally have never read it despite writing racy myself. You say so much here, about the village and all, that did have me giggling. BUT I found what you said re the possession so personal, moving, touching and interesting cos I was talking to someone else this week about just this largely because it’s something I am looking at in the book I am writing. where the heroine is a widow and she has nothing of her husband so what she hold to is the little things in life, all the rituals. And I do think we hold to things like that in order to hold to all the bigger things because of all the things terrible loss and change means for us and we want to know we are all good when we also know we can’t, cos things do change. That’s life. SO you know, never mind what grief does to you, and if you do get the chance…well… it would be know shame to give that book a diff resting place if it makes you feel that is now the thing to do

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    1. After your wonderful comment I ran and got the book. It’s a memory so it’s now in our bookcase. I can’t wait to read that book as it sounds so like me. Now I think about it I have latched onto the rituals. It’s a combo of not wanting to let go, wanting to keep her spirit alive and realising how little you have to show for that time together. Part of me thinks that I have to think about her memory everyday to keep it in existence.

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      1. Oh you know, I am gulping here that what I said makes some kind of sense. It is the combo for her of not letting go and being frightened to cos of how much she cared and how she can’t do that again. So she has latched onto …this is my life… And yes, life is cruel that way. The thing is to, I think we all reproach ourselves if we don’t think of that person every day but life moves. Just so many things we try to come to terms with. I am so glad you got the book. Whatever, it IS a memory and you will know when the time is right to let it go. That time may never come either. You might always keep it but the thing is to have it .

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      2. I try to spend 10 minutes a day just thinking about the good stuff and the things she did. I get upset if I forget to do it. It almost feels like Ive let her down if don’t do it. It’s like if I don’t do it then somehow she will fail to exist.

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      3. No you haven’t let her down. Never. I often think the Lennon words about life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. Even in grief it happens, while you plan for that ten minutes, then hammer yourself over the head because it was only five. And it is also a defence mechanism. You are here. You have to live. And I think if you asked yourself how you would want people to be if they were without you,..not you without them… you would say I want you to live. I don’t want you taken up crying over me. I want you to remember the good times we had. And you know you do. Just because you don’t take these memories out every day and look at them, does not ever mean you have forgotten. Sometimes it is just too hard to take memories out and look. She will always be with you. You won’t ever not have her in your heart and your memories But there’s times when it is easier to remember, times when it’s hard and times when everything is in its place. So never , ever be hard on yourself about that.

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  6. I definitely relate to people encouraging you to do things before you are ready.

    About admitting that you are the supplier of racy books to the local village library – are they onto you? Do you find people giving you sideways glances and whispering about you?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. SPOILER ALERT!!
    It’s pretty sad that people cannot get past the OMGTHEREISSEXANDS&MANDBONDAGEANDWHIPS/CHAINS/ANDTHELIKE!!! in this series of books. If you look deeper at the series, it’s actually a pretty decent love story where her love for him turns him into a better person.

    I have the series and I thought it was pretty neat how she defied and helped him.

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  8. Never appealed, though I read a few Harold Robbins in my time! Sadly I don’t read as much as I used to. It’s not that I don’t have the time, I just don’t have the inclination to make the time. I have three new books to read. I started one just after Christmas and so far haven’t got beyond the first chapter. Says a lot for the story line…………

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  9. Not only am I book person, a retired elementary teacher and children’s librarian, but I am a widow of one year…almost. You followed me on my blog quite a while back and I have barely been on because I can barely write these posts. But God seems to be giving me strength to return and the grace to be there when I can. I thought I needed to do things the way the world tells me to in the beginning of this new season of life, but now I see that I am taking it at a pace that feels so much better. We are all so different and must walk through the process (it truly is a process) at the pace that is ours. I cherish my memories of Kenneth and the moments recaledl from 25 years of marriage. I was so in love with Kenneth and still am, come to find out!! Even after death. I loved him like no other and know that it is alright to continue loving him and remembering him, us. Thank you for your encouragement.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can feel the love you have for him. You are so right everyone is different and they need to deal with grief their own way. I know someone who lost his life partner. It took him a while but he has returned to painting. He still loves his partner but suddenly the urge to paint rekindled. Take care. xx

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  10. That is one thing I do not understand–you should never, EVER pressure someone to get rid of things until they clearly communicate that they are ready. My mom didn’t wait long to get rid of my dad’s clothes; what were they going to do in the closet? She knew others could use them, and doesn’t regret getting rid of them. But his collectibles, books, etc–much of that remains. We tackle a shelf’s worth now and then, but nothing more.

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  11. “Somebody’s brave – the village will be holding an investigation.”…. had be really LOLing!
    Fifty Shades was so so horrible. I think I got to chapter 11 or 12 and ditched it. What a bizarre book and the writing leaves a lot to be desired, ironically.

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  12. I’m sorry that people pushed you to clear things out. I believe everyone has their own way of dealing with grief and instead of people telling you to move on, they would support you by letting you grieve in your own way and move on at your own pace. I, however, love Fifty Shades. The concepts in the book may be unique but that’s its beauty. Long gone are the days where we discriminated books which had unfamiliar concepts.

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  13. I do read your blog with interest the first day that you started writing and I notice you are doing much better and that life is getting better for you congratulations time just runs away from me finding time to comment just know that I’m very Very pleased that your blog that’s great

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  14. Loved this read! I haven’t read 50 Shades because it just doesn’t appeal to me; too popular for one thing. (Yes I know that’s a weird reason not to read a book.) But I laughed when I put myself in your shoes and thought about the effect of racy, donated books in a small community, as I live in one myself. The main question would definitely be who put it there! As to the pressure in dealing with such a personal bereavement, I just wish they hadn’t. These days so-called well-meaning people seem to think that it is best to carry on regardless. But everyone needs time to grieve and to do it in their own particular way. I wish you and your child well for the future. It’s out there. You don’t have to rush towards it.

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