I have several things to accomplish this weekend, the least of which is getting the trim painted and up in the library, the curtains lined in the bedrooms, and some pre-fall cleaning and throwing out. What I really want to do, though, is bake bread... and maybe a pie... and put together a fall reading list. I've already started, you see, by piling up a book here and there on the library chair.
How do you get ahold of the books you read? Are they borrowed? Checked out from the library? Purchased? All of the above? I'm terrible in that, while I "shop" the library for titles and sit on the library board, I've never once checked out a book in this little town. The librarian once handed me a book and said, "read this", but I didn't. Didn't look like something I'd enjoy. At all. I'm not much of a book checker-outer. I buy most of my books in used book stores and sales and Amazon. Once I've enjoyed pages, I hate to give them up. I just can't. Besides, I got into the habit, several years ago, of inscribing my books with a simple phrase or two: usually the place I read it, the date, and what I was doing. Like, "November 2005. Wichita, Kansas. Read through one bitter, windy weekend alongside pumpkin lattes with cinnamon... and David." And, "April 2001, my 22nd birthday. Boston. Bought on cart outside Globe and am reading in Quincy Market as the violinist plays." This is how I know that I read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Sleepy Hollow. And The Mercy of Thin Air in the mountains... where the air was thin.
I think, if ever I have a child, I'll do this for her, too -inscribe her books. "September 2011. Texas. Fell asleep in Mom's lap by page seven, before she got to the pigs - my favorite part." That way she'll always know where, when, and who she was when she first heard Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod. And first read Nancy Drew. And The Velvet Room.
Guess that's why, as I waited for another dreaded meeting yesterday at Starbucks, I ended up with this mug in my lap. I'd just started a new book and didn't want to inscribe it with, "September, 2007. Starbucks. Waiting for a stupid meeting for my stupid job on a stupid day." I already have books that say that... things like waiting at the doctor's office. Or driver's license place. Or worse. Anyhow, I wanted something else to say. So when they offered to put my drink in this mug for just a few dollars more, I said okay. Then I walked to my seat and wrote, "September, 2007. Starbucks. Began one conflicted summer/fall day while a leaf sat in the bottom of my cup."
So okay. The week is almost over. Thank God. Thank, thank, thank God! And the fall reading list is taking shape. Any suggestions? Thoughts? Must reads?
Have a restful weekend - you and your leaves - whether it's with a book or not.
My best, Brin