We arrived at The Book Trader early on a Saturday afternoon and dropped off two bags of paperbacks looking for new homes before making our ways through the narrow aisles in search of our own treasures. I browsed through History, Politics, True Crime, and Education, picking up books, carrying them around, putting them back, and starting all over. Nothing jumped in my lap, nothing called my name.
I climbed the stairs to the second floor and found my first treasure in Science Fiction. I jumped haphazardly through the rest of Sci-Fi and Fiction and Literature. My daughter sat on a chair by the window reading her Pokémon comic book. My boyfriend joined her with his own stack of books. I continued jumping from shelf to shelf.
Oh, wait. Sorry. Two more things. Then I promise, I’m done.
Oops, I lied. Just give me a few more minutes.
And so it went. From Fiction and Literature to Poetry to Horror to Chick Lit.
Okay, okay. I’m done.
And I made my way to the cozy reading corner with my three precious finds. That’s when I spotted the LGBT section in the corner by the window.
This is the last section I want to look through. I SWEAR!
I pulled out my phone and starting scrolling through Goodreads, looking for some of the LGBT titles from my to-read list. I didn’t find any of them. I picked up a few books, thumbed through them, put them back.
Then I picked up A Catholic Mother Looks at the Gay Child by Jessie Davis. This isn’t exactly the kind of book I would seek out, but it jumped out at me because of its pristine condition. Its shiny cover and gleaming pages didn’t seem to belong in a used bookstore. With the exception of the price scrawled on the first page and the personal message on the inside cover, this book looked like it had never been opened.
It was that personal message that drove me to add the book to my pile –
I don’t know the significance of that message. I don’t know the relationship between the author and Father Jack. All I know is that this book was meant to be read by someone and yet the binding was never cracked and it was sitting on a shelf in a used bookstore. Someone needed to read this book, this copy and that person would be me.
This wasn’t the most enjoyable book I’ve ever read. The writing isn’t exactly stellar and given our differences in religious beliefs, I didn’t agree with the author’s thoughts regarding other issues (namely sexuality and anything non-Christian). But this book wasn’t intended for me – I’m not trying to come to grips with having a gay child and well, I’m not Catholic. I think Davis comes off a bit preachy, but when I strip that away, this a book about a mom trying to make a difference . . . about a mom trying to help the world, and specifically, the Catholic Church, accept and love her son for who he is, to help them understand that homosexuality is natural and not something a person chooses. And I commend her for that.
I would never have picked this book up from Barnes & Noble. I doubt I’d have given it a second look if it was on a friend’s bookshelf or reading list. The only reason this book made into my hands is because it sat on a shelf in a used bookstore, and I am happy to have given it a home.