When we visited the Biltmore Estate a couple of weeks ago, we spent some time looking around in a gift shop. That’s where I discovered this little item.
The shop featured a whole display of these letters made from old books. The gentleman who worked in the shop saw me looking at them and asked how I liked them. I haltingly told him I was both horrified and intrigued at the same time.
The letters were cut from old Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Remember them? They hold a special place in my childhood memories. When I visited my grandparents in Florida, I’d always go to my grandmother’s sunroom where she had a whole bookshelf of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. I’d choose one and be set!
I shared this memory with the gentleman in the shop and explained that THAT was why I was horrified to see these special-to-me books mutilated in such a way. He said he completely understood but went on to explain that libraries across the country are throwing these books in the trash because they just don’t want/need or have room for them. What?!? I guess I can understand that, but it still made me sad.
He went on to suggest that maybe I should purchase one of the book letters BECAUSE they held a special place in my heart. (Did I mention he was VERY good at his job?!?)
So, I cautiously considered his idea, and my eye was quickly drawn to the letter R, the first letter of my last name. I picked it up and told the gentleman, “Wow! This one totally matches the elephant in my living room!”
HA! Oh, the expression on his face! When I thought about what I had just said I hastened to explain! “Not ‘the elephant in the room’! I really do have an elephant in my living room, and this book really does match it!”
THEN I looked at the spine of the book to see the names of the books it contained, and THIS is what I saw!
Elephants in the Living Room, Bears in the Canoe!!! Are you kidding me?!? I quickly showed it to the gentleman, and we both started laughing! We both knew the book was going home with me!
And it did! And it DOES match my elephant!
Update here! 9/24/2016