Monday, July 30, 2018


And speaking of the journal I edit, I just got an incredible note from my copy editor, with whom I’ve worked for 23 years. (She lives in Idaho now.) It is a belated note of sympathy on the occasion of my father’s passing. “I have asked that a mass be said in his memory (July 31),” she writes, “and have made a donation to the C.C. Public Library so that a book can be placed in the collection in his memory.”

Not only is this incredibly touching, but placing a book in someone’s memory is a beautiful way to honor someone, especially a reader, and a practice that I’d frankly forgotten about but hope to take up myself.

And, not being Catholic, I’m pretty impressed and honored by the mass thing too.


  1. Your copy editor is a person of great quality.

  2. That is lovely. I adore the idea of placing a book in someone's memory. I'd like to belatedly do it for my dad - maybe one of your fishing books.

  3. That really is very nice. It reminded me of something not so nice, though. (Not to worry . . . these kinds of memories surface from time to time no matter what. They could be triggered by a car on the street.) At some point after my daughter Gillian died, I donated 11 books to the library in her memory. They all related to her interests, including music, the clarinet, horses, and the intricate, gorgeous beading she used to do. The librarian said she would notify me when the bookplates were ready. Well, she never notified me. I'm usually not shy about inquiring into things, but the circumstances were overwhelming, and I was certainly not myself. So I waited. And waited. Eventually I realized the librarian was avoiding me, ducking into rooms when I showed up at the library. Yes, it was bizarre. And later I realized it was never going to happen. By then it was so beyond awkward that I didn't even want to ask her about it. I have no idea what happened to the books.

    1. Oh Susan, that's so wrong. And the librarian was simply a coward to avoid you like that!

    2. That is really unfortunate and strange.