I live in a split entry house. From the front door, a short flight of stairs leads up to the main floor and another leads down to a hallway lined with overstuffed bookshelves. One Halloween, I opened the door to two trick-or-treaters, about nine years old. As I offered them candy, one of the boys asked in an awed voice, "Are you rich?" Laughing I asked him why he thought so, and he said, "All of those books!" Afterward, I looked at the paperback mysteries, the old encyclopedia we'd acquired one volume a week at a grocery store, the assorted hardbacks from bargain tables and secondhand stores, and I realized that he's right, I am rich.
-Lisa Hall Deckert