The Sunday Salon – Panic over a book, or a cautionary tale of overloaded bookshelves

At least once a year, or sometimes every few months, I clean off the shelves and the books are donated to the little library we have in our building. On the last go round, close to 100 books left the house. At the time, it was liberating. We had room for new books and the ones that made the cut were now better organized. I was pleased.

Now, we come to yesterday. I got up early to go swimming with a friend and per our routine, we swim a mile and then go for coffee and scones. Yes, I know the scones defeat the purpose of the swim but it’s what we do. Anyway, I ordered a large coffee and decided that since I had a lot planned for the afternoon, caffeine would be a good thing.

Here’s where my thinking went awry. Hyped up on caffeine, I thought “Oh, I need to find my copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell for the read along.” I begin looking and then begin panicking. I couldn’t find it. Poor husband gets drug out of another room to help me in my now frantic search. I explain in what I think is a rather calm state that I’m missing a book and I must have it. He looks at me and says, “How much coffee did you drink this morning?”

Obviously, he missed the point of my panic induced state.

“What’s so important about this book?” he asks.

“I need it,” I say.

“For class?”

“No, I just need it. Just find it! I didn’t give it away did I? I wouldn’t have done that would I?” I say in what I’m sure now was an increasingly loud, and probably shrill, voice.

“It’s a big book, greenish cover with a tree on it right?”

“Yes,” I say. And I should note that I was personally astounded he knew that because as far as I know, he’s never read this book.

“Ok, here ya go,” and he hands me the book. “Please don’t drink this much coffee ever again.”

I’m pretty sure I hugged the book and not my husband but he was the one that deserved the hug.

Happy Sunday! I have to go see if I can find a channel that doesn’t have pre-game coverage of the Superbowl. I feel the need to watch some TV in a nice comfy bed. Enjoy your reading today.

The Sunday Salon – What’s your favorite book? Let’s all play along edition.

Over Labor Day weekend, we were at a friend’s house (It was a lovely afternoon if you’re curious.  You might not be but I’m putting it out there.) and we got on the topic of books.  I didn’t bring it up.  The book blogger stayed silent. 🙂 What an excellent title for a book!  Anyway, this person asked what books I’d recommend.  And here’s what happened in my head…

“Oh, what to pick?  What to pick?  No, seriously, what to pick?!  Don’t panic.  You read like, what, 100 books last year, just pick one.  Oh, crap.  I don’t remember any now.  How can that be!  Crap. Crap.  Just pick one!!!”

Yea, so, can you tell I don’t like that question.

You might be wondering how that can be since I have this little space of my own where I (OK, on the days I get out of bed early enough to post something.) talk about books.  What I like.  What I didn’t like.  And yet, when someone asks me a perfectly normal question about books, I can’t answer it.  My head goes all…

“What did I like last year?  Do I even remember the last few books I read?  Ah, nope.  I don’t.  Don’t remember what I wore yesterday either…  Ok…must make a list.  Put ginkgo on the list too.  Isn’t that stuff good for memory?”

I know what you’re actually thinking right now.  She’s slightly crazy.  No, really, I’m not.

You see, I’ve decided, the reason I’m not good at the above question is because I can’t pick one single book to say — “That was the best thing I read.”  Because that wouldn’t be true.  It’s not simply that I read so many wonderful books (OK, some books are better than others.) but I read so many *kinds* of books that to pick one seems wrong.  Let’s face it, we’re always seeing reviews for a book that another blogger loved and we go out and get it and find ourselves disappointed by it.  Sometimes so much so we don’t even finish and sometimes can’t wait to get the book out of the house because it was so disappointing you don’t want to look at it for fear it might ruin your reading karma.

What I need to do is ask the question, “What kind of books do you like to read?”  That way I can say wonderful things like, “Mysteries.  I read this fabulous book called Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran recently.  Takes place in New Orleans…” and sound so wonderful and sophisticated that even though this is going on in my head:

“Oh, I so hate this question…”

I won’t sound like an idiot.  Yes, it’s good to have a plan.  I should also make that list…is ginkgo good for memory?

P.S. – I’m feeling the need to file this under something like things I should keep to myself so people don’t think badly of me but hey, I’ll get over it.  Embarrassment only lasts a little while.  Right?

Moving on.  Tomorrow starts Book Blogger Appreciation Week.  I didn’t sign up for the interview swap which I wanted to do this year and didn’t register either.  Bad blogger I am.  Anyway, go here to find out more.  Wait, you probably already know all this but do it anyway.