Sunday, February 28, 2016

We're Booked

There is a used bookstore near us called the Book Cafe. The place has been there forever and I'd never been in it. I love to read, so the other day I thought it was about time I checked it out. I had in mind a couple of old books that I'd really like to have paperback copies of, so that was the perfect excuse to go in.

When I got there the owner asked me if she could help. I told her I was looking for a couple of classics, namely works by Richard Brautigan and Jack Kerouac. I expected some sort of reaction, but kind of got a blank stare. She looked at me like I'd said I'd wanted a pastrami on rye or a fiberglass surfboard instead of a couple of classic authors.(I guess I don't know the name of every author on earth either, so I shouldn't be so judgy.) After specifying that they were fiction, she directed me downstairs and mentioned that all the books were 1/2 off the price marked on the inside cover.
My weekend acquistions.

I went downstairs and browsed the stacks of books looking for a gem or two in the rough. I didn't find any by either of the two authors, but I did come across another classic and personal favorite of mine, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. When I looked at the price, it was $4.00. Figuring I could get what might be my favorite novel of all time for only two bucks I bought it.

So it goes.

Ben's Comic and Graphic Novel
When I got home, there was a package for Ben on the front steps. I brought it in and gave it to him. It turns out it was a graphic novel and a comic book (a big one). He'd ordered them online and was surprised to see that they were already here.

And it hit me that my wife and I have passed on our love for reading to our kids. Ben ordered those of his own volition and will probably read them from cover to cover.

The same can be said of our daughter Sarah. She has ordered complete book series in the past just to make sure she has them all. She couldn't get through The Martian fast enough. (I thought it was just okay, but to each their own.)

Then, on Saturday, I got a package of my own in the mail. It was Hallelujah Time!, a book of poetry by a new friend of mine from the Tupelo Press challenge. He'd sent it to me because I sent him a copy of my own chapbook from the Tupelo challenge. It is a bunch of poems built around the ties between Biblical verses and Bob Marley songs. It incorporates a lot of Rastafarian principles (One Love) and I can't wait to read it.

Donna's current books
When I look at my wife's stack of books I see more of the same. She is the family's biggest reader and always has at least two books going at one time. (I currently have four, Immortal Diamond, Water to Wine, Slaughterhouse Five, and Hallelujah Time.) She schedules vacations aroutnd her habit. I aspire to read as much as her, but will never catch up. She throws every fourth book my way if she thinks I should read it. (She's my book vetter. Ha!)
Book Jenga

And so our nightstand looks like the photo>>>. (And that's just my side of the bed.) I know not everyone enjoys reading books. I find that sad, but I get it. Some people read slowly or struggle with big books. But I personally can't imagine life without lots of books in it. It is my art. Some people have lots of art on the walls, I have lots of books. (I wish I had more art, though.)

Re-reading Slaughterhouse Five is like talking to an old friend. (So it goes.) Reading Hallelujah Time is like meeting a new friend and getting to know him. Reading Immortal Diamond and Water to Wine is like talking to pastors about God. Reading The Sun magazine is like meeting the crazy uncle or cousin I never knew. Books and magazines are how I process much of the world around me. They make for great conversation - like at my Thursday coffee group. They make us richer, and, I dare say, smarter people.

It's my hope that my kids will be lifelong readers. That's a legacy worth talking about.

Blogging off...

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