Archive - July 20, 2018

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“Downsizing Books” by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

“Downsizing Books” by John Coyne (Ethiopia)

  When I was growing up on a farm in Illinois all six of us kids (I was the youngest) waited for the Saturday Evening Post to arrive in Wednesday’s mail so we’d have stories to read over the weekend. After dinner, whichever of my three sisters was washing the dishes that night would prop a book up against the kitchen window so she could read as she scrubbed. Since my job was to dry, I couldn’t pull off that trick. But I loved books too, and before I learned to read, my oldest sister would read to me whatever Jane Austen or Brontē novel she had gotten from the village library. We read so many books, in fact, that soon my older siblings had gone through everything deemed “age appropriate” by the librarian, Mrs. Butterfield. So one day she refused to let my sister Eileen check out the book she’d chosen. My mother, an . . .

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