Posted tagged ‘book’

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

January 4, 2013

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.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

March 31, 2012

Finally we have some rain! After our snowless winter, they are predicting possible drought conditions this summer so any rain is welcomed. For some reason, though, the rain makes me lazy. In my imminent future I see movies about climatic upheavals and a nap in the darkness of the afternoon. The animals are already asleep.

It’s cold this morning, but I don’t care. The house is warm and cozy. When I was young, this was the sort of day I’d stay in bed and read by the light of the bed lamp hanging off my headboard. It was a quiet time when I could be by myself. I’d follow Nancy and Trixie as they solved cases and feel bad for Heidi looking for her grandfather. One of the joys in life is finding and reading a great book for the first time. Sometimes I’d read the whole book in one sitting hour after hour. I’d close the cover and hold the book for a bit still savoring every word. My mother used to tell me to take my time, but that was never possible. Once a book grabbed me, it didn’t let go until I’d read the last word.

My love of books and reading has never changed over time. When I was younger and backpacking through Europe summer after summer, I’d bring 3 or 4 books. When I’d finish one, I’d carry it until the next stop. Staying in a hostel was the best opportunity to trade, and I found myself trading for and reading books I probably wouldn’t have otherwise read. That was the fun of it.

In the old days, Peace Corps used to give volunteers book lockers, cardboard boxes which opened into small bookcases. They were filled with paperbacks. In mine, left by a previous volunteer, was The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I devoured all four books and would never trade them to any of the volunteers passing through town. I knew I’d go back and read them again. Before I went up-country to live after training, I visited the university bookstore and stocked up with more paperbacks, all of them printed by Penguin Press. They were trade material. My town had a library and most of the books were by British authors. I read Ngaio Marsh, Ruth Rendall and the wonderful Dorothy Sayers for the first time. Such joy!

Despite having and using my iPad, I still cherish the printed word and love holding a book in my hand, and I still sigh when I’ve finished a book I loved.

“Nothing is worth reading that does not require an alert mind.”

October 16, 2011

Somehow I lost my checkbook. I wrote a check this morning, took out the ATM card from that very checkbook at the bank, withdrew money and then went on my merry way. When I tried to put the ATM card back into the checkbook, it had disappeared. I drove back to the bank thinking somehow it fell out of the car. That was, at best, remote as I only opened the window. Just as I suspected, no checkbook . I went through my car. I found old mail I had dropped on the floor which must have slid under the seat, a quarter filled bottle of Gatorade my nephew left sometime in May, a check for valet parking and lots of dog hair but no checkbook. When I got home, I checked the drive and walkways, came inside and went through the table area where I had written the check and found nothing. I called the bank, and they put a hold on all checks. I am totally astonished at its having gone missing. I fear the check gremlins had been hiding in my car just waiting for this moment. It’s like the movie Gaslight. I am slowly being driven crazy. I can think of no way I dropped that checkbook, but I suppose I must have. Are those voices I hear?

Today is again a beautiful fall day with lots of sun. The temperature is in the 60’s. Even the house felt warm when I woke up. Last night we had high winds, and the ground is filled with leaves and clumps of pine, victims of that wind. It is still here but is much less ferocious and only periodic. I can see the backyard oak tree bending and swaying when the wind blows. The bird feeders are swaying.

I have been really lazy. Yesterday I did the casual wash up and brushed my teeth but didn’t bother to get dressed. A couple of things cut cuff dusted, but that was the extent of my industry. I finished my book, one with a plot so simple it did not in any way challenge my mind. Here is the plot in as few a number of words as possible: the government secretly tested a bio-weapon on Americans in an area in Detroit frequented by bad cops, drug dealers and prostitutes. The 1000 deaths were no great loss according to its inventor. It was, after all, Detroit. The disease had a built-in timer so it disappeared after 3 days and never traveled outside that infected area which had been sealed off by the bad guys, the US government.

Last night the Tigers lost. Detroit has been hard hit.

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