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So you might know that I like books. I think I’ve blogged in the past about how much I love them, and always have. As a child I would participate in a Readathon for Multiple Sclerosis (or Muscular Dystrophy, I can’t remember which). Every summer I would read and read and read because jesu forfend I go outside and get some sun already (TM my dad). You probably also know I married someone with a similar affection (or affliction, depending on how you look at it) for books. I recently categorized all almost-2,000 of the books we own. (I just realized we have accumulated about 40 books since that post less than six months ago. POINT MADE.) All of our books are also recorded in LibraryThing. We are those kinds of geeks.

I love the look of them, either stacked haphazardly on a nightstand or neatly alphabetized on a shelf. I love the feel of them, the weight of them in my hands, the pages beneath my fingers. Whenever Mr. Zoo gets a new book, he holds the book up to his face and kind of smells the pages with a look of minor reverence on his face. (I mean, SERIOUSLY. If I didn’t know he was The One before seeing that, well, that would have been It.) I feel a contentedness like no other when walking into a bookstore or a library, much like the feeling I get whenever I walk into our home, or, say, Target. Like I can finally exhale and relax. For me, books are not only comprised of characters, they have character. Back in school (when everyone thought that the year 2000 would bring things like flying cars and visits to the moon), a teacher spoke about how In The Future, books would probably be digitized and would only be available in disc form rather than by using paper. I was aghast. FLABBERGASTED. I tried to imagine what my future home would be like – me in a shiny silver spacesuit-type outfit, my robotic maid bringing me dinner, and my personal library consisting of rows and rows of computer files containing my book collection – and, well, I wanted to cry. Dramatic? Maybe. But it’s also why no matter just how cool the Kindle may be, I am probably never going to get one. Probably. I kind of have trouble keeping a scornful look from my face when people talk about Oprah’s book club and will actually go out of my way to find a copy of a book to purchase WITHOUT the Oprah seal on it.

I have book lists on Goodreads and on this site as well as, yes, a spreadsheet. At any given time I have at least a dozen books checked out from the library, not to mention the [at least] 100 books that I own on my to-be-read bookshelf. I am constantly checking out Amazon’s recommendations based on my past purchases (though, seriously? I’m lucky to get one good recommendation out of 20 there), doing tagmashes on LibraryThing to see what else is out there, perusing the book group reading lists at the library. I beat myself up for never reading the classics that I should have been forced to read in high school but wasn’t, and now I find it difficult to motivate myself to do so. I also berate myself for not reading more contemporary fiction – I mean, how many times can I respond to “Have you read Middlesex? Love in the Time of Cholera? The Road?” with “Umm, no, but I’ve heard of it.” However! I did read Pillars of the Earth (one of my favorite books of all time) like 15 years ago before it was everywhere I looked, and I’ve read Kite Runner and She’s Come Undone, SO THERE OPRAH.

Ultimately, I am mostly drawn to historical fiction, which is a genre that straddles the border between dignified, well-researched historical characters and events with which the author takes some plausible but unsubstantiated-by-fact liberties, and, well, bodice-rippers that happen to contain some characters that actually existed in history. My reticence in admitting this is my preferred genre is caused by the majority the well-done historical fictions that unfortunately employ cover art that leans more toward the Harlequinesque. But I can’t keep away from these books in spite of that slight embarrassment. Just when I think I have read every single historical fiction about the Tudors, I discover a new one or five. Or other books on basically any royal in England or also maybe anywhere in Europe. Two years ago I decided I wanted to read more about Arthur and Camelot, having only read The Sword in the Stone as a child, and have since read at least 20 versions/collections of this legend.

All of the above leads to the two short facts I wanted to share with you, which, let’s face it, could have been blogged about much more efficiently, and for that I am sorry.

When I am about to go on a trip, I spend more time thinking about which books to take with me than I do anything else. I generally bring, on average, eight more books than I will ever have the time to read on vacation. Because you just never know what you’re going to be in the mood for! Or what if you only bring ONE BOOK and then it turns out to kind of suck? I can’t risk that kind of thing. Must! Have! Options! (Which, admittedly, is where the Kindle does sound like ten kinds of awesome. Because lugging around twelve just-in-case books for an eight-day trip in a suitcase that has to fit certain weight restrictions is kind of stressful.) (Not that I did that a few months ago when I went to Hawaii or anything.)

Last night I finished The Forever King by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy and IT WAS SO GOOD. I stayed up until 1:30 AM IN THE MORNING because I just could not put it down, even though my client’s dog was here (the cough-drop-eating one) and I knew I’d be waking up at some god-forsaken hour (6:30am, for those of you playing along at home) and would be exhausted and useless today (check and check) but I just couldn’t help it. There are two more books in this trilogy THAT ARE IN MY HOUSE RIGHT NOW and it’s taking all I have to not start them now, but I am holding off because in two days we are leaving for the Family Oblication and I want to make sure I have good stuff to read while I’m there.

So basically this entire post was a really long way of saying: Stayed up too late. Good book. Zoo tired.

“When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food” ~ Erasmus

I leave first thing Tuesday morning and until now have delightfully ignored everything I needed to do before I leave town. Said panic is also the reason I am not going to link appropriately within this post.

I need to get my new glasses adjusted because they are too loose.

I need to return the evil bra I bought (I am keeping one of the two I got that day because it is, actually and surprisingly, very comfy. You know, for a bra.).

I need to package up some bags I bought on ebags in my quest to find The Perfect Purse and The Perfect Laptop/Carry-on (I bought like 5 of them to give myself options, only to find the purse I wanted at Target (after checking two Targets twice before ordering them in the first place) while the bags I ordered were en route.) to take them to a UPS drop off.

I need to do laundry finish laundry and actually fold and put everything away in the same day. Then I need to figure out if there is room to pack everything I want in one suitcase since Hawaiian airlines charges (!) for each (!!) checked piece of luggage. I always overpack anyway, but this time I am bringing my wedding dress home so my mom can make a xmas tree skirt out of it. I also need to plan clothes for (a) hot and sunny Hawaii weather, (b) hot and rainy Hawaii weather, (c) church in case I go with my mom, (d) cool and windy Hawaii volcano/country weather for when we visit my sick uncle, (e) a funeral for said uncle depending on what happens, and (f) if history is any indication, approximately eight pairs of shoes, because you just never know.

I need to send my Bookmooch books. Eep.

I need to stalk the library web site to see if the books I have on hold will come in soon so I can take them on my trip.

I’m having some girls over on Sat night for pizza and drinks and a doggie playdate, so I need to clean up a lot around here, including bathrooms which I hate.

I need to give my disgusting toes a pedicure since Hawaii = open toed shoes.

I need to do two hour-long dog walks each day until I leave, at a client’s that is at least 30 minutes away (one way), during morning and evening rush hour.

I need to not focus on how I’m going to be in an airplane over AN OCEAN for several thousand miles.

Send reinforcements.

Today we get the extreme pleasure of spending our tax refund – some concrete peeps showed up to start work on fixing the sidewalk in front of our house that The City cited us for last year. (btw, do not EVEN get me started on how the sidewalk is considered property of THE CITY and NOT US and yet we are required to pay for repairs, NOT TO MENTION the damaged sidewalk in question is caused by the roots of a tree that is on our NEIGHBOR’S property. But, whatever.) You know as soon as the fresh cement is poured I’m going to be all in a tizzy trying to figure out what best to write in it. And if you haven’t seen the episode of The Office from last season where Michael Scott faced this same dilemma, well, then, the subject line here means nothing to you. Also? You should watch it. Go ahead, I’ll wait.


Unrelated to our broken sidewalk: earlier Mr. Zoo mentioned that he noticed a couple of books that were mis-categorized during Evil Book Project ’09, but when I asked him what books they were, he said he couldn’t remember, and didn’t seem to appreciate the urgency with which I wanted us both to go downstairs and find said mis-placed books. IT’S LIKE HE DOESN’T KNOW ME AT ALL.


June 2019
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