“There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.”

It was 10 o’clock when I finally woke up this morning. My room was cold because the window was open so Gracie was curled up right beside me on the left and Fern was curled up on the right. They were pretty cozy. I wasn’t.

The day is dreary with a cloudy sky and a feeling of dampness in the air. The breeze is strong enough to blow even the thick branches. As my coffee was brewing, I checked the feeders through the window and saw two new visitors: wrens. I also saw a woodpecker, the goldfinches eating thistle and a robin eating suet.

Today we have a couple of errands, Gracie and I. It’s time for a new dump sticker then a visit to the dump and finally the pharmacy. It is getting closer to the time when Gracie will come with me to do errands only when I can leave the air conditioner on for her. Luckily, the dump is one of those places.

Days like today were among my favorite days when I was a kid. It was too ugly to play outside so when I’d get home from school I’d put on my coziest clothes, hop into bed, turn on the light and read. I’d lose myself in the pages all afternoon. When I got older, I always carried a pocketbook book with me in case of a spare minute or two. I’d read on the bus or even standing waiting for the bus. I disguised my book and read it in church. Last summer in Ghana for three weeks, I read 12 or 13 books. I had no radio, no TV and no computer, but I had books, and they were more than enough entertainment.

When I became a volunteer, we were given settling in money to buy whatever we needed for our houses. I bought a few dishes, a giant coffee cup, some pots and pans and I bought books, lots of books at the university book store. They were as essential as that coffee cup.

Every Christmas from the time I was really young, first Santa then my mother would give me new books. When I was older, my mother would ask which books I wanted as she was afraid she’d buy ones I’d already read. One year I got Alive, The Story of the Andes Survivors. I started reading it right away and read it all of Christmas Day. My mother told me I was reading it too fast and should save it by reading only a little at a time. That made no sense at all to me. I am a firm believer that you can’t put a good book down, that you are drawn to its pages over everything else. I can remember reading The Stand straight through for days. Sometimes I was far too engrossed to realize I had read the night away then I’d hear the birds greeting the morning and look up and see the first light in the window. I still do that every now and then. I love a book which makes me forget everything but the page I’m on.

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13 Comments on ““There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it. It is like falling in love.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Suuny, no wind and 61F here today 🙂 Tomorrow will be mostlyu cloudy and rainy they say but pretty warm anyway. I’ll either read a book or see one of the dvd’s I have bought, perhaps Life of Pi.

    I remember one book I read all night, On the Beach by Nevil Shute. It must have been the last year in highschool. But there has been several others too but I especially remember that one.

    I always brought books when I leased summer houses, well I used them all year round to be honest 🙂 None of the cottages had tv (one didn’t even have electricity, so reading books during evening and nights was the thing I liked most, that and crossword puzzles 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I think the weekend is supposed to be good. I have no real plans so I can do whatever!

      That was a great book. It was also a great movie. Usually movies from books are a disappointment, but that wasn’t.

      I do the crossword puzzles in the two papers every day!!!

      Have a great evening!!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I, too, read books in church. I’d slip one up the sleeve of my choir cassock and read it during the sermon. Well, I didn’t want to be there anyway so what better way to “escape”?
    There are many books in my house. I’m loathe to get rid of them when I’ve finished so most of the books I’ve acquired over the decades are still here in shelves and boxes and random piles. Now and then I’ll come across one I haven’t read in a while and I’ll sit down and read it again. The Kindle has been a real space saver for me. It’s an entire library in a pile only one book high. 🙂
    It’s sunny up here but still a bit cool. Rocky is at doggy day care and I’m doing chores. Peapod came so there is cooking to do. The new lawn guys also came for the first time. I haven’t inspected the results yet but a general squint out the window looks okay.
    Enjoy the rest of the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I agree about the church book. The sermons were always dismal and a good book never was!

      I give my books to my library. What they don’t have they add to the collection and the rest they sell for a dollar to add to the library budget. My iPad too has tons of books I’ve read still there as ell as a bunch I have yet to read.

      I have to make a Peapod order as the larder is pretty empty. I need a list of stuff.

      My lawn got done yesterday-looks great!

      Have a wonderful afternoon.

  3. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Blossom Dearie! I love her but nobody seems to remember her anymore. You have good taste, Kat!

    Your mom’s remark on reading too fast gave me a chuckle…I stand guilty of the same accusation. I haven’t heard that phrase in so long! Must be a mom thing…

    I read a lot when baseball is in the off-season…Currently finishing “Cronkite” by Douglas Brinkley.

    Waving from a lovely Jersey!


    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Coleen. I love Blossom Dearie. Maybe now I’ll have introduced her to many more who will become fans!

      My mother was horrified I’d finish the book in a day or so. I never understood that. I always told her books were for reading fast or slow.
      I am still reading Storyteller by jodi picoult.

      Waving right back but through clouds!!

      • im6 Says:

        It would be such a gift to your readers if more people became fans of Ms. Dearie. As you know (I believe you know), I adore her and she’s one of those artists I try to convince friends to try. Sometimes I’m successful; sometimes I’m not. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising since her voice IS quite distinctive — maybe a little to “girlish” for some. I wish I could say she’s been a lifetime favorite of mine, but I only discovered her about 10 years ago while watching “Mi vida sin mí” (My Life Without Me) and suddenly there was what’s become my favorite song of hers, “Try Your Wings.” It just grabbed my heart and wouldn’t let go. Give it a listen ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9an3X-qlo5Y )

        That movie (My Life… / Mi vida…) is something I’ll recommend to the Coffee Crew. Oh, it’s depressing as hell, but it’s also beautiful, heartbreaking and heartWARMING. There’s a wonderful review at this link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314412/?ref_=sr_1

      • katry Says:

        How could anyone listening to this song not want more? She has such a different voice that is just so wonderful, unique. I hadn’t ever heard the song from that movie before this. I’m happy to say I’ve now added it to my Blossom Dearie songs.

        When my friends come, I set my music to shuffle and she comes on. I mention she is a favorite but my friends don’t see all that impressed with her. I can’t understand it!

  4. Birgit Says:

    I agree, save a book by reading only a little at a time doesn’t make sense. It lasts longer if you read it several times, which I often did.
    At nighttime it’s easier for me to listen to (library) audio books. Currently it’s a translation of Cody McFadden “Shadow Man”. Lots of blood and cruelty 🙂

    • Birgit Says:

      oops, typo, the author is Cody McFadyen

    • katry Says:

      I like to listen to books in the car for long trips. The miles seem to disappear.

      I haven’t ever heard of that author. I’ll go hunting!

  5. flyboybob Says:

    I have always loved books and book stores since elementary school. I could always get lost in a paperback book stall or store as I spent my allowance on a couple of books a week. Reading a paperback book on the subway, in the backyard and anywhere was one of the pleasures in my life while growing up. In those days I could be transported anywhere for just a quarter of a dollar. When I found a book that I couldn’t put down I would devour it in one or two days. Your mother’s comment about reading a book too fast made me laugh. Was she an avid reader like you? Maybe she didn’t understand your passion. My was not a big reader but my father became reader after he retired.

    Thank goodness for the digital ebook. I am short on book shelf space and long on hard disk space. I also like to underline important or interesting passages or take notes and be able to find them quickly. Ebooks allow me to do that without defacing the real pages.

    Today was partly cloudy with brisk winds and temperatures in the low 60s. More like March than May.

    • katry Says:

      I was te same only my allowance bought one book. It was a Whitman book with heavy cardboard colored covers. They were 49 cents each. It’s true about being transported. I was so lost in my book I sometimes didn’t hear my mother calling me. She swore I was ignoring her, but I wasn’t. I was with Jim Hawkins and Long John or Nancy Drew.

      Both my parents were readers. It was my mother who developed in me a love for books. She read to me all the time, but she never read as ardently as I. My Dad kept his book beside him on the table.

      I still buy real books especially as I get gift cards for Christmas, but I still love my iPad and all the books on it. When i traveled years back, I’d bring a few books and hope for a trade when I’d meet someone else. Now I can bring so many books on one device.

      Your day sounds like mine, but tonight is cold.

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