“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

The sun is shining, but it is just a ruse to draw me outside where I’ll freeze to death. The day looks a bit hazy as if I need to spin the lens to sharpen the image. The dump was on my agenda, but it will be far too cold as the wind there is like a blast of Arctic air. Gracie loves the dump, but she stays warm in the car wearing her Pendleton blanket coat. My back is a bit iffy today so hauling trash may not be the best idea.

The books have been flying off my iPad shelf. I have been in a reading frenzy. My favorite so far is Mr. Penumbrum’s 24-Hour Bookstore. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. There are books and there is technology, advanced technology of all sorts. One of the characters works for Google; another creates boob simulation software for which there is a huge market. The main character works in the bookstore, and it is he who prompts the action, as such. He finds coded books on the top most shelf, books he wasn’t supposed to read, and then the quest begins to solve the codes. Kat, great name for a character by the way, is the one who works for Google. It is she who buys a New York Times but can’t figure out to operate it. You have to love that line but you bemoan it at the same time. Real books take center stage so to speak in this novel which sort of made reading it on my iPad an oxymoron. I don’t know what prompted me to get this book, but I’m really happy I did.

When I was in Ghana last summer, I read eleven books in three weeks. In the mornings I’d sit on the porch with my coffee and I’d read. At night, I’d lie in bed and read myself to sleep. Even when the electricity went out, I had my iPad and all the light I needed. When I was a volunteer there, I read at every opportunity, much the same as I did last summer. Without the distraction of a TV, reading and listening to music are the best ways to spend time. That was about the only thing that didn’t change over the forty years in between visits.

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20 Comments on ““Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.””

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I read Mr. Penumbra on my Kindle. 🙂 It was okay because Mr. Penumbra was getting into the teckie by the end. I really enjoyed that book and have recommended it to a couple of people.

    The day is not as cold as yesterday but there is wind and that doesn’t help. Rocky and I have been out driving around. Bank, pharmacy, gas station, yarn store. I don’t really need to purchase any yarn but I needed a yarn store fix. The cold weather made me want to knit a warm hat and I didn’t have any suitable wool. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😀
    Anyway, when we got home I took Rocky for a (not very) quick hobble up the street and back again. While he was grateful for the outing, he really would have preferred a long walk all around the neighborhood. So not happening with these temps.

    I don’t know how to operate the New York Times, either. There’s too much of it. 🙂
    Enjoy the day!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I’m glad you too enjoyed it. I’d hate to mention a book no one got into but me, and there have been a few of those.

      Like you, I do a group of errands ( a flock? a gaggle?) at one time. My mother would endorse your warm hat story so I’ll believe it.

      It’s the Sunday Times I have trouble operating. I disassemble and read one section at a time saving my favorites for last.

      I did little today. My leg, which has been bothering me for a while, was especially bad last night. The doctor claimed vitamin D deficiency-I don’t think so any more given the amount I’ve taken for months. The leg is worse, not better. Looks like he’ll get a call.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Books&technology&codes&mystery 🙂 Too bad Mr. Penumbra isn’t translated yet. I think I have to read it, but as a fast reader I prefer books in my native language.

    • Kat Says:

      Birgit,
      I’d prefer books in English too no matter how well I spoke another language, and you speak English better than many people who claim it their native language.

  3. Bob Says:

    Sounds like a good book. I will put it on my reading list along with the many others I want to read. One of the great things about my iPad is that I can read a book while listening to music. With good noise isolating ear buds and a good E-book I create my own isolated little world away from everyone and everything. The question then becomes what music to listen to while reading? I like instrumental music either classical or jazz. I can’t read and listen to lyrics at the same time because my brain can’t divide it’s attention between the words on the page and the words in my ears. Although my wife says that the multitasking gene doesn’t reside on the Y chromosome, multitasking is a myth. You can’t really do two things at once every well. Your brain just divides the tasks up and you go back and forth between them which means that you are doing a poor job at two or more things rather than a good job of one thing at a time.

    Cloudy and cool here today. They were forecasting highs of 45 degrees but with rain, snow flurries or a winter mix. So far the wet stuff has remained to our west and south. Texans have never figured out how to drive in wet, or snowy weather. Somehow they think that when you are driving a big SUV or big pickum’-up truck you are invincible. Slowing down or refraining from talking on the cell phone while driving is considered a violation of their rights as written in the Texas constitution. We are the only state were the legislature passed a law banning texting while driving and our illustrious Gov, Rick Perry, vetoed the bill. He said that a law against texting while driving is too much government intervention in your personal rights 🙂 I didn’t know that we have the right to drive recklessly as long as our blood alcohol is below the legal limit.

    • Kat Says:

      Bob,
      I love the way you construct your world: music and a book. It doesn’t get much better than that! Like you, I don’t care to listen to lyrics while I read, but I disagree about your multi-tasking assessment. I think they can be done and done well. I agree with your wife on that one.

      If you don’t have a lot of snow, you really don’t learn to drive in it well. I see pictures of all the accidents in the south when it gets hit with a huge storm. Add to that the many places in the south which don’t even have plows and you end up with accidents everywhere.

      You can’t text and drive here but you can talk and drive which I think ought to be outlawed as well unless you have hands free blue-tooth.

      • Bob Says:

        Before the holidays I rented a car in Phoenix that had bluetooth hands free capability. Talking on the phone while driving was the hazard not having the phone in my hand. I know I have talked on the phone while driving my old car without bluetooth. In New Jersey talking on the phone while driving is a $200 fine.

        Driving in the snow is not as bad as driving in sleet or ice. One Sunday morning I was driving to work several years ago on an eight lane freeway. The road surfaces were not iced, but the bridges were covered. There was only me and one other car on the road going westbound. He was in a Mercedes Benz going about 95 MPH. When he approached the bridges he slammed on his brakes and hit the ice causing him to make two 360 degree turns on the ice covered bridge. Luckily, he recovered on the non icy pavement without hitting anything and resumed driving at warp factor 7.

  4. olof1 Says:

    I have to keep my eyes open for that book now 🙂 I’m almost finished with The Hobbit now and I do like it. But It is written for kids I think, at least that’s they style he’s written it in.

    We did have sun for a while and it has been warm all day but I really didn’t care most of the time, I’ve gotten a stomach flu. I’ve been through worse, at least so far 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • Kat Says:

      Christer,
      The Hobbit will be next as i really want to see that movie. I’m not so sure that was written for kids, at least not younger kids.

      I’m sorry you have stomach flu-nothing is worse than feeling sick. Stay warm and feel better!!

      • Caryn Says:

        I agree with Christer. The Hobbit was written when Tolkien’s children were very young and accepted for publication on the strength of a review by a publisher’s 10 year old son.
        As Tolkien worked on The Lord of the Rings, he would make changes in The Hobbit to allow for events in the later books. Those changes appeared in the second edition of The Hobbit but it still retains the feeling of something that was written for children. I remember being a little disappointed when I first read it because it read like a child’s book. I read it after I had read The Lord of the Rings and I was expecting similar language. I have since learned to appreciate it for itself.
        I have no idea what they are doing to the movie except that it’s going to take three movies to tell the story. Really? It’s not a complicated book. They could do it in one but then they would be missing all that extra money. 🙂

      • Kat Says:

        Caryn,
        I knew it was written for children but I thought some of the mythology was more for an adult than for kids. I guess that’s looking at the book on different levels which maybe is my thing not Tolkien’s.

        I too was amazed the book was being made into three movies.

      • olof1 Says:

        Three movies must be two too many. If I understand things right it takes a lot of time seeing Bilbo packing for his journy, something he actually doesn’t do 🙂 He wakes up late and is rushed away by Gandalf. So I guess that’s how You fill three movies 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. Caryn Says:

    That might be a function of the changes that Tolkien made in The Hobbit in order to make it relate better to The Lord of the Rings which is certainly based on Norse mythology and a bunch of other stuff as well. There’s a lot of Catholic doctrine in there as well. Pesonally, I think you have to really work to get that but Tolkien said it was so and so it must be.

  6. Kat Says:

    Hi again!

    I wonder how the original reads in comparison. Tolkien reminds me of C.S. Lewis who wrote some of the same doctrines and mythology into his Narnia series.

  7. Birgit Says:

    Btw, have you read “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón?
    It’s another great book about books and a pleasure and challenge to read.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow_of_the_Wind

    • Kat Says:

      Birgit,
      I have read that book and agree it was both a challenge and a pleasure, more of a pleasure I think.

  8. Bill S. Says:

    When we lived in Tafo our first year, there was no town library. The school library was a closet of books written for kids and teenagers. When we lived in Bolga, the town library was a lifesaver. Edgar Wallace was a favorite author, as well as those who wrote the African series published by Penguin.

    I can’t listen to lyrics and read at the same time, so I usually play instrumental–classical or new age–while reading. I think I get tired and bored with lyrics–you kind of know what’s coming next–but New Age is kind of mindless background music, and sometimes puts me to sleep.

    Today (Sat.) is Kevin’s birthday. 43 years ago today we were in Tema, Ghana on a life-and-mind-altering adventure…

    • Kat Says:

      Bill,
      I got massively sentimental when I read this. 43 years ago, and sometimes it seems so close I can touch it. I have vivid pictures in my mind and such amazing memories. Ghana is so much a part of me, and I know you feel the same way.

      In Bolga, I first read Ngaio Marsh and several other British detectives I hadn’t ever heard of before that. When I was getting ready to come home, I bought several of the African Writers Series. I coerced Georgina into buying me two sets my first year there so I could use them in my class. My students read Things Fall Apart and Lokotown and Other Stories. Before that they were stuck with Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare, one of the only books I would advocate burning.


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