I’ve Run Out of Bookmarks

Six months have come and gone since my last blog post. Instead of writing I went on an epic book binge. With each book my heart grew bigger, my soul lighter. Never once did I suffer from a feeling guilt or gluttony. Just happiness. My library–and brain–expand. Shelves overflow. No. Bulge. I’ve run out of bookmarks.

shelf
new shelves, new books

Our living room can now be called our library, with new shelves lining walls, stacked with the potential to run away.  A comfy chair, a table, foot stool, warm blankets– I’m ready. Where is the snow to keep me inside? I cancel plans–yes, a confession–so I can turn the page.

never end
yes, I cancelled plans because I couldn’t put this one down

Start a book on the history of colors. Pivot to poetry, scattered on the floor around my chair like seeds in earth. Does it matter how many autobiographies of Bowie I own?  Novels read in one sitting. Novels begun but not finished. Not because they aren’t well written, but because they are. The idea of them ending, heartbreaking.

colors
a book to help with small talk 
books read
books I finished and recommend 

So I join a subscription service. Two. Books arrive with illustrated covers. Covers all in black with white block letters suggesting the seriousness of what’s inside. I binge on feminist manifestos, literary journals, novelists from Norway and Brooklyn, mystery novels, classics (ah, Mrs. Dalloway!), and books so heavy I consider reading them an act of physical exercise (thank you Mark Danielewski).

books bought
keep them coming! 

Everywhere I go a book in my bag. An actual book with pages smelling of vanilla and glue. I sneak a peek at what others are reading. Do you like that book? I’ve read that book! Smiles exchanged. Off the plane, the train, I walk with a head filled with narrative: “Mrs. Dalloway would buy the flowers herself” (Woolf) and, “The cat does not offer services.” (Burroughs).  My phone pings. A text from my bank: a deposit has been made. Pay day! There is a bookshop 4.2 miles away. Seated in the back of an Uber I anticipate tables of freshly published books. Hoping for a cat, if it’s an independent shop. Definitely my arms filled, wishing I could ignore my obligations, and continue my binge.

 

 

 

Blindly in a Bookstore, Some Rules

via Daily Prompt: Blindly

If you want to get the most out of a bookstore there is one rule to follow: enter through its doors blindly. As in, without reason. Mindlessly. No determination needed. In fact, leave all thought in a bin by the door, along with the umbrellas. When you enter, reckless, you will find yourself thumbing through books you’ve longed ignored, who grab your attention. They speak to you. Now you are impulsive. You find yourself, strangely, thumbing through a poet’s book, eyes landing on words: springy, morning air, rebels, smoke. Now you are lost in a memoir, where you might find strength, empathy. Stock up on page turners, new authors discovered because covers entice. Don’t question your impulsivity, or the titles in your stack, or the way they make you feel when you touch their spines. Why consider the cost when you never wonder how much is spent on lattes or lunches out? Just take your stack, tuck them into your oversized leather bag, walk proudly by the umbrellas, but don’t forget to collect your thoughts! Once outside you will need them.  Go read!  From the seat of your old car, under the bare tree in a ray of sunshine, stuffed at a small table at a crowded, loud cafe, or while perched on the top step of an old school building. Read as you ignore the slamming of car doors, children calling out to parents, to the beating of your own heart. Nothing  matters, for you have blindly entered the pages of another world–you have begun to run away.

Confessions of a Book Glutton

Confessions of a book glutton, day 1.

According to my bank account, I have spent approximately $500 on books in the fourth quarter.  I say fourth quarter to make it sound like spending hundreds of dollars on books is my business instead of my addiction.  Otherwise the perception might be that I have a problem. Which I don’t.  No problemo here, friends.  Nothing to look at. Move on….

bookstore
full disclosure: this isn’t my house, but I wish I could call it home

Confessions, day 2

Today I discover the Japanese word Tsundoku in my Facebook feed. Tsundoku means acquiring reading materials to let pile up, then never reading them.  As in: I am guilty of Tsundoku, as evidenced by the $500 worth of books piled around the house.  

I have to be in the mood for a book on Saving Capitalism or a best seller about a middle-aged working gal who has suffered heartbreak.  Today, for example, I’m in the mood for a good page-turning mystery. Unfortunately, my Tsundoku is sans a mystery novel. Tsundoku normalizes my reading pile. How is having a pile of books not instant comfort?

books-to-read
all of these books have been started but remain unfinished

Confessions, Day 3

Look here! A monthly subscription book service where you get a cloth book (that’s pub speak for “hard back”) and a packet of tea! I could use some tea. Picture this: me, snuggled under a blanket, steaming mug of orange blossom tea sits on the radiator while a Noreaster blows through city streets. If not for my Tsundoku I would go hungry.  It’s not like I have piles of tea…

tea
beginning to wonder if I’m a hoarder….

Confessions, Day 4

I’ve got five books going at one time.  Is this normal? Google informs me I’m a poly-reader.  What?! Maybe I should watch TV.

Confessions, Day 5

On TV I see Jimmy Carter talking with Oprah about his latest book, A Full Life.  He’s such a smart, compassionate man. I’ll just sample a chapter in iBooks, take a read before  I make a commitment. Wonder if there is a word for piles of chapters stacked in the iCloud?

Confessions, Day 6

Looks like Icelanders do a book exchange on Christmas Eve.  And Barnes and Noble emailed me a coupon! Feeling Nordic.

Confessions, Day 7

Sat in the chair I bought for book reading, cat curled up in my lap, books all around.  My husband has asked me several times if I want to go to get a coffee from a shop which is located two doors down from a bookstore. Think I’ll pass, I said, the cat is asleep and this book is fantastic.  Been hours since I’ve seen him, but I don’t wonder where he’s gotten to. I’ve got so many good friends to keep me company.

me-in-chair
the cat found something better to do with herself