And I’ve barely read anything since Tuesday. Or maybe Monday. I hate it when this happens. I get distracted by things like work and watching Modern Family reruns and taking the dog for a walk and I don’t get any reading done. It feel like a part of me is getting empty, like I’ve got some sort of reading gas tank somewhere inside me. If I go too many days without being able to sit and read for a period of time I get kind of antsy and have this free-floating feeling of anxiety. I have no idea when this started. I don’t think it’s something that started with the blog, but maybe it’s gotten worse since I started devoting some of my free time to writing about what I read. I generally think that I’ve always had feelings like this. I’m definitely happier when I have time in my day to pick up a book and read. Okay, let’s be honest. I’m happy if I get to read old medical records. Just looking at words on a page (but not so much a computer screen, that doesn’t feel the same to me) gives me a feeling of peace and joy.
Oh dear. Have I gone too far? Said too much? It’s no big secret around here that the first few years I was a practicing veterinarian (or an “official vet,” as my friend’s mother-in-law used to ask me if I was) I would stop at Barnes and Noble on my way home like once a week because the only thing that made me less stressed was spending time and money in a bookstore. But even now that my anxiety about work has dissipated somewhat there’s just something about books. I was talking to my friend Letti’s nine-year-old daughter about the books she’s reading right now (something about cats in wizarding school—they sound awesome) and I was so excited to talk with her about books. I don’t know if she enjoyed the conversation that much, what with me being a boring adult, but I really did. I strongly recommended that she buy as many books as possible so she always has something to read. I don’t think my friend appreciated this very much, as she knows very well how many books I have in my book room. I think that maybe this nine-year-old should never see my book room. I wanted to tell this girl all about all the books I read when I was nine, about Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie, and Bunnicula and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I don’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t love books and reading. Some of my earliest memories are of my mom reading Little House in the Big Woods to me at bedtime, and going to the library in Pinole. I think the carpet there was orange shag and the chairs were blue and white. I remember getting my first library card at the Glen Park Branch of the San Francisco Public Library when I was like four. Do you guys remember those cards? They were green plastic and the librarians typed our personal information on them with a typewriter. I’m trying to remember my first trip to an actual bookstore, or an early one. As far as bookstores go, I was hooked as soon as I figured out that when one buys a book one gets to keep it forever. My first favorite bookstore was the B. Dalton at Serramonte. It was bigger than the Waldenbooks, and something about the color scheme appealed to me more (orange and brown and cream, though…. I’ve never liked those colors). I think I was about nine when I made the transition from libraries to bookstores, actually. I think that might have happened because the libraries in San Francisco didn’t have Nancy Drew books. Our school library at St. Paul’s had them, but not all of them, and the public libraries didn’t have them at all. So perhaps it’s that girl detective’s fault that I’m currently typing this in a room filled with “far too many books (as my mom would say),” waxing nostalgic about my life with the written word.
Have a good night, everyone. And happy reading.
Both book pictures were taken at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR, last summer. The bottom picture is their awe-inspiring collection of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.