At about this time every year, for the past many years, I have bought the latest anthology of American short stories. In the past, I would greedily and carefully read it and then put it in my suitcase.

Papa loved short stories. He had many short story collections in the house  - from Tolstoy to Asimov. He taught me how difficult they are to write and how beautiful they are sometimes. 

Papa and I would discuss some of the American stories after he read them. Some he thought were just plain silly. Some we would discuss at length. He appreciated honesty in writers and writing free of gimmicks. 

I got my copy of this year’s anthology yesterday. I feel sad reading it. This year I will put it on the bookshelf.

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