Monday, May 11, 2009
I bought a lot of books recently. When I was in Bishop, I visited East Side Books, one of my favorite used book stores on earth. I always feel like I've gone treasure hunting when I come out of that bookstore. This time, quite a find: Savage Beauty, a hardcover biography on Edna St. Vincent Millay (one of my favorite authors and poets.) I had admired the book at Barnes and Noble many times, but didn't want to spend $30.00 on it. Finding it for under $10.00 at the used bookstore was exhilarating.
Then, for my birthday, I got two Barnes and Noble gift cards. Oh, the joy! I ended up purchasing a bunch of books online. Out of the Dust, a beautifully written children's book about a difficult subject- a young girl who lives in California during the dust bowl who loses her mother to a fire. I also bought The Girl Who Could Fly, a children's chapter book that's been called a cross between Harry Potty and Little House on the Prairie. Finally, I bought a book called A Great and Terrible Beauty. I don't know what it's about, but one of my students was reading it during class and I had to tell her to put it away numerous times. She would smile and say, "I just can't put it down, Mrs. Smith!" That's the sort of book I like to read. :) I also have The Plain Truth, by Jodi Picoult, about a murder in an Amish community, and The Gatekeepers, a book about the selection process at the most prestigious colleges.
Having a bag full of books makes me hesitate to dive in. I like to look at them. I feel their covers, read their back pages, hunt for the author biographies, and glance at the reviews. If it's a new book, I smell its crisp, smooth pages; if it's a used book, I hunt for inscriptions or highlights. I wonder who owned it before I did.
Having this bag of books has made impossible for me to blog recently. I haven't even started reading, really. I just spread them out and look at them and decide what I'm going to read next. I rank them in order. I read the first line of each book. They lay in waiting, like unopened gifts.
Summer is close enough to make finishing them a reality.