While this is not exactly the position I used to be in, if any of you had caught me as a young girl, but this is what I would be doing. Reading. I am one of those who used the flashlight under the blanket before we had Nooks and Kindles and iPads … with backlighting.
I am an unabashed and total bibliophile and proud of it. A friend came into my office and kept looking behind me. Finally he said, “you sure have a lot of books.” Yeah a few thousand my office and a few more stashed away around the house.
In the foyer of my house there is a beautiful piece of calligraphy which states, “When I have a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothing.” I love it. But I love what it says, even more. Yes, perhaps it has “addled my brain,” but that, I believe, is a good thing.
I’m looking forward to presenting and reading at the Avid Reader in Sacramento, California on March 1. I am also looking forward to some time away from teaching and phone calls, SO I CAN READ MORE!
The new contest I was promoting for book club is already over. I have been matched with a group of bibliophiles who sent me the receipts and whom I will have the pleasure of meeting and speaking with in August of this year.
One of the things that I learned during our conversations was the nature and depth of the books they read. When I saw the lists of the books, I got that hunger in my belly that I just want to sit down and read and not do anything else. Unfortunately, that hunger caused me to be discontinued as a library assistant when I was in the fifth grade.
Why? Because I couldn’t just shelve the books. Oh well.
Take a look at these lists (for 2013 and this year) for the winning book club and you’ll know why my gut says, “just sit down and read.”
Book List 2013
In The Garden of Beasts – Eric Larson
Paris Wife – Paula McLain
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail – Cheryl Strayed
Hidden Power: Presidential Marriages that Shaped History – Kati Marton
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Sweet Tooth – Ian McEwan
Clara and Mr. Tiffany – Susan Vreeland
Lady In Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece – Marie O’Connor
Book List 2014
Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki
Let’s Pretend It Never Happened – Jenny Lawson
The Storyteller – Jody Picoult
Monsignor Quixote – Graham Greene
Remains of the Day – Kazuro Ishiguro
Pillow Book of the Flower Samurai – Barbara Lazar
American Fiji – Sara Backer
Story of a Happy Marriage – Anne Pachett
Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd
This has inspired me so much, that I will no longer be sending my niece Nancy Drew, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with Nancy Drew. My niece and I correspond, but we don’t twitter, Facebook, email or even call. We simply write each other. Well, she has been responding to me for the past few years. She is now 12. Isn’t that incredible? She is so fantastic!
So instead of Nancy Drew, I am sending: The Secret Garden
20,000 Leagues under the Sea (in the original French!)
and of course, Anne of Green Gables.
I won’t send them all at once. But perhaps in addition to our correspondence, my niece and I can start to talk books. If you could see my face, I would be smiling.