Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I snuck away

I knew it was a bookstore sort of day.

I knew it was so, that I planned my entire morning around being free in the afternoon to roam rooms of books and rooms that spilled into other rooms of more books.  I swear to you Powell's Books  seeps euphoria.

Do you ever have those kind of days?  When the only thing you want to do is smell, touch and read books?

Many read to escape reality and maybe I'm just the same.  I can't say there was anything to avoid this otherwise regular Tuesday, but nothing was clearer than the fact that my heart wanted to leap between pages and lie there for a while.  The possibility to happen upon a work that could change my life might also have some weight in this matter. 

Do you ever turn pages hoping that within might lie a gem of wisdom that you will remember forever?

This might be the exact reason that I last-minutely walked past the writing section, landed eyes on Natalie Goldberg's, "The Great Failure," picked it up, skimmed over the back, and called her a keeper.
Maybe, in some sort of serendipitous-sort-of-way, Goldberg's gold covered memoir was the only real reason I went downtown today?  Perhaps between the hard covers is a story that might interweave with mine, and/or spill open a truth that I didn't know I was searching for and will sing prelude into my life's next chapter?

Such is the mysterious adventure in books and in reading.  Maybe I'm romanticizing a bit?

With the tick of freezing rain bouncing off the window pane, steeping mint tea and a stack of beautifully unread books on my nightstand, I have finalized my decision on my first read for the year 2011.  Instead of Vladimir Nabokov's, "Lolita" or Virginia Woolf's, "A Room of One's Own," I begin with "The Great Failure: A Bartender, a Monk, and My Unlikely Path to Truth." It came about when I had other things in mind, but so goes life--

many, many unlikely paths leading to truth.

Now, I hope it's a good one.

{UPDATE: I'm two pages in and already marking this book up!  This is a very good sign.}

What are you reading this New Year?


Saumya January 11, 2011 at 11:29 PM  

So beautifully written :) It captures the feeling I often have when I sneak away to a book store. I think I could spend days on end in one if given the choice. Sounds like you had a wonderful day! I'm reading The Space Between Us and Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Ana* January 12, 2011 at 4:41 AM  

I am so guilty of escaping the world through books, I happen to become one of the character once I open the book and my existence changes, even if it's just for a few mins. Right now I am reading Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult. I made it a goal to read all of her novels before I turn 23.

Ps: This post truly captured the moment, well written.

Hearthandmade January 12, 2011 at 7:34 AM  

I do this too. Only i have just rediscovered the library after going on a thrifty kick and realising that my house has reached capacity for taking in new items!

A Serenade for Solitude January 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM  

Saumya--I haven't read or heard anything about The Space Between Us. I should look it up. I would like to read Committed, though. I really enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love.

Ana-I haven't read anything by Jodi Picoult but I did write down that I'd like to read My Sister's Keeper. :)

Hearthandmade-I should make more use of the library, but the reality is that I'm a book hoarder. what else can I say? ;)

Erin January 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM  

I'm reading Creative Inc. Last year I read about 150 books! Crazy, but I'm going to have to lay off my book obsession for awhile. :)

mme. bookling January 12, 2011 at 12:40 PM  

Now that's a sexy bed stand, girl.

Jennifer D January 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM  

Ahhh...I can just smell the books.Browsing the bookstore is one of my favorite things to do. Our tiny town lost it's only bookstore for a few months and I was devastated, just like when our only fabric store closed. A local man decided our town had to have a bookstore so he opened the shop back up. Needless to say I feel obligated to buy lots of books from him just to keep him in business. I can't be doin' it Amazon.com style,Gotta do my part. ;0)I am reading Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs, it is a Christmas Sequel to Friday Night Knitting Club, which I LOVED!!!I am thinking of reading the fourth Outlander book "Drums of Autumn" next.I have been missing Jamie Frasier. ;0)

vintch January 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM  

oooh goodness. you just put words to one of the greatest feelings in the world. finding, and then finishing, a great book is a priceless experience. i've got no trouble finding them, but making time to finish them is something i'm working on. thanks for the inspiration!

Bonnie January 12, 2011 at 8:08 PM  

I *heart* Powell's and definitely have those days where I could walk hours up and down those aisles just browsing through all the loveliness.
Not reading anything at the moment - trying to inspire myself to bake and paint more at the moment.

It was so sweet of you to stop by the other day. Thanks so much for bringing many smiles to my face. :)

Hope you are doing well and enjoying your books! I know when I find a good one, I just have the hardest time putting it down.

Talk to ya soon!!


A Serenade for Solitude January 12, 2011 at 8:20 PM  

Jennifer-I had no idea your town was a "small town" but then again I don't know CA all that well. I love that you support your local shop! It's really great.

Vintch-I know all about finding great books and not having time to complete them! This year I am resolving to do MUCH better!!

Bonnie-sigh. Painting and baking. It sounds like the perfect duo. I, myself, plan to stay far away from any baked goods for a while...;) Also, I'm happy to hear you are well! xx

a whole lotta love January 13, 2011 at 5:03 AM  

Thank you for stopping by my blog and your kind words. I love books.. and bookstores (good thing I'm a bookseller! :) ). This book by Natalie Goldberg sounds interesting. I always have a few of those 'classic' books that I haven't gotten around to that are on my 'to read' list... but then I am always stumbling on random books like this that catch my attention instead. But why not? Why not let the universe tell us what to read vs. some list of books we 'should' read.

I started blogging because of a Natalie Goldberg book I happened to pick up. This is the quote that got me thinking about starting a blog:

"Our lives are at once ordinary and mythical. We live and die, age beautifully or full of wrinkles. We wake in the morning, buy yellow cheese and hope we have enough money to pay for it. At the same instant we have these magnificent hearts that pump through all sorrow and all winters we are alive on earth. We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be know the earth passed before us. Our details are important."

Random things from a book that one picks up can change one's life :)

A Whole Lotta Love,

Princess and the Pea January 14, 2011 at 1:21 PM  

I'm into my third book already this new year! That's what happens when you spend seven hours travelling to and from meetings! Not that I mind, I actually quite look forward to that time on the train when I can bury my face in the musty pages of some book or another!

Summer :) January 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM  

I love, love days like this... nothing more satisfying. :) I wait for days like that. :) I have that same teacup (with my own initial). The book I just finished was one of my favorite books I have read in a LONG time, The Bronze Horsemen by Paullina Simons. Incredibly Russian and incredibly good.

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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