Sunday, May 03, 2009

So Many Books, So Little Time

Window of a book shop in Independence, Oregon.

I've got myself in one of those book pile ups again. On my trip I stopped at a few bookshops, including Powell's. It's hard for me to talk about Powell's without sounding like all gaga like a silly tourist. I'm actually more nonchalant about pointing out Paris sights. "Notre Dame" ...yawn... "Let's go get some tea." Well, okay, maybe not the yawn. But still, when I go to Powell's (which, instead of memorizing how to get there, I find by my own unique "spiral around until I reach the center" way), I'm all jumping up and down inside and giggling on the outside. I can't help it. It's the bibliophile's equivalent of bumping into Johnny Depp.

I've given you all the spiel before, a bookstore four stories tall and the size of an entire city block. Here's a map I found online.

It doesn't really give you the sense of it. Inside it doesn't feel this organized.

It feels more like this.

Or this.

At least, at first. But, I digress. My point was to say that I stopped at a bunch of bookstores, including Powells, where I managed to find all the books that are listed so far this year for my book club's choices, at used book prices. Yay! In case you're curious:

April - A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (It's really an epic read and since I knew I'd be gone during the meeting, I haven't read it yet. I did start it though, and I do plan to finish it eventually.)

May - A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines (not really in the mood for depressing, but it's short and it will probably be a good book)

June - Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (my pick. Everyone has been picking such mainstream and serious stuff, I thought it would be fun to introduce something a bit dark and humorous into the mix. The point of the club for most of the members is to be challenged to read something they wouldn't necessarily pick up first on their own. No one had read this and most of the members didn't even know who Neil Gaiman was (rolls eyes) so this title meets that criteria well. I'm really looking forward to the groups reactions for better or worse.)

July - The Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (I haven't read this one but I enjoy Bryson)

August - The Tortilla Curtain by T. Coraghessan Boyle (I have read this but it was so long ago that I'll need to reread it to be able to participate in the group's conversation. If I recall, it's the story of "yuppies" of the 1980's. I'm curious if the story is still relevant now or if our culture has changed too much to understand the author's message.)

September - Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte (this one definitely stretches my reading selection)

That's it for the book club choices. For my own reading...

I bought The Girl with No Shadow by Joanne Harris. It's a sequel to Chocolat and I've been waiting anxiously for it to come to the US in paperback.

I also broke down and bought Neil Gaiman's new Blueberry Girl. Illustrated by Charles Vess. It's a children's book. I thought I could wait for it to come into paperback, but I just couldn't. I got the last copy on the shelf at Powell's and a couple of the employees saw me with it and told me it had flown off the shelves as fast as they could stock it.

I keep trying to read it out loud to people and failing as it brings me to tears every other page. Gulp. Anyone remember the children's book I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch? All the parents can't keep a dry eye. Yeah, like that. And if Gaiman's poem isn't enough, the illustrations are totally gorgeous. I don't think I've been so enamored of a children's picture book since Lynn Plourde and Greg Couch's gorgeous seasonal series. (Wild Child, Winter Waits, Spring's Sprung, and Summer's Vacation)

I bought a few more titles, too lazy to go check now and actually, this whole post so far is mostly a digression.

My original point was, I bought a bunch of books and I have a bunch of deadlines for reading them and I have a whole stack of other titles I've been wanting to read foreeeever, and there's a couple of authors I'm totally stuck on and want to hole up and read exclusively before the moment is lost and ..... the title of this post sums it up.

Even though I know what a fantasy it is, every time summer approaches I get this vision in my head of how I'm gonna spend it.

102_5821.JPG by you.

Reading. Out of doors. With a cool drink.

P1060688.JPG by you.

Don't forget a hammock. Old pic of William before "the haircut". Wow, time zips by.... the boy is almost a man now. And the tree the hammock is hanging in is gone. Sniff. But, back to my point, add the hammock. With me in it.

And every year this fantasy never even gets a start. Because I still carry inside me the child's idea that summer is the time for relaxing. And every year my summer fills up with so many plans and projects that it zooms by with little if any hammock time.

It's not that I couldn't spend more time in the hammock reading. I could. I choose to do all these other things (well, mostly I choose, sometimes I'm swept along on someone else's choosing) and most of it is enjoyable.

Even more so this year than in year's past (which seems impossible but that's the way it feels), I have projects and plans I am determined to start or complete. Mostly complete. More than is reasonable for one person to accomplish in a few months, but I'm not yet willing to start weeding projects out yet. I am woman, hear me roar.

So, reading. Sigh. I sneak it in when I can. Chose reading over some sleep. Carry books around with me wherever I go. (Books, camera, purse, phone, sketch pad.... hard to travel light when you want to be ready for any possibility) Maybe I'll give up watching the news all summer and read instead.

What's on your summer reading list?

Oh, and before I forget, do NOT miss going over to Laume's Studio today to see photos of the most amazing mosaic art!


Blogger Kirsty said...

I gave up watching the news except for a broadcast here and there since the end of November. Haven't missed it. Google and keep me informed of the biggest events, both nat'l and local, and I'm so much happier. If I have piecework to do, I put Pandora on my computer and listen to great music, or Lee and I talk (gasp!). If no work, then I sew, or read (gasp again!) or even go for a walk!
I so relate to your summer dreamin'! I too get swept away with all the choices. I get to read when we camp, as Lee takes the kiddo's to the ocean and I stay at the campsite w/the dog and veg with a book or the local papers, and LOVE it!

3:52 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home