Wednesday, February 24, 2016


new old books

Or old books, new to me.  They are on my mind today as the snow falls, because yesterday two of them arrived in my mailbox.  Lately I've decided - again - that life is short and there are books I simply cannot bear not having read yet.  Books by authors I have loved for years.  Now, I would rather come across books by happenstance and fate, rather than on Amazon or eBay, but, with my pressing sense of anxiety about the fleeting qualities of life, I decided to bite the bullet and just order used copies online, already.  I was led to this state of affairs (I mean, if I had the funds, I could order books online all the livelong day - all the things I want to read and can't find, here in rural Maine) by re-reading the Louise Andrews Kent books I have on hand.  Which are many.  And then realizing that there were books of hers I have never read, or even seen, and, since I love everything of hers I've been able to get my hands on thus far in life, what did I think was I waiting for?  I didn't go crazy, I just ordered two more of her books.  They arrived yesterday.  The mail comes around noon, here.  I made sure to do everything I had to do in the morning, then had lunch, got the mail, opened it (while humming "...brown paper packages, tied up with string..."), and carried my books off to the sunniest room in the house, and read the afternoon away.  With snacks nearby.  And the sleeping cat.  What bliss!

Reading a book from cover to cover, over the course of a sunny winter afternoon, when I have recently done more hard work than I ever thought possible, felt like the best kind of luxury I could hope for.  Actually, even better than that.  I read somewhere recently (won't say where, wouldn't want to tangle with the writer, who is admirably successful on many fronts) that reading is a wonderful way to waste your life.  Oh, famous writer, I could not disagree more!  I'm (almost) sure the author was being tongue-in-cheek or deliberately antagonistic, but still, I Was Not Amused.  When I read that line, my eyes may have narrowed.  In retrospect I suppose it really irritated me because I myself worry about work, about working enough, about making the most of my life during my allotted time, whatever that happens to be.  I am a worrier!  I come from a long line of worriers!  I do not want to waste my life!  And yet... 

Waste indeed.  People are not automatons.  We cannot work and work indefinitely.  Who's to say that times of intense work should not be balanced by times of glorious idleness, in whatever form happens to be your personal cup of tea?  A great book, or even a not-so-great book, is one of mine.  In fact, this afternoon I'm going to read the second Louise Andrews Kent book that arrived in the mail yesterday.  Read it from cover to cover, and count it time well spent, if I bother to count time at all.  I've got more work ahead of me, very soon, and sometimes the quiet hours of winter afternoons are just for savoring something.  A book, a snack, sunlight on the wall, or snow silently falling outside.  And that's enough.  More than enough.  Let's talk in more detail about both books, in the near future - I'll meet you back here, on another quiet day.           

Here here I cried. Couldn't agree more! Best days ever are spent with a good book. There is family and all that wonderfulness but reading is never a waste of time in my books.
A friend of mine was asked by her therapist what she would treasure in her old age - what would mean the most, be of the greatest comfort. My friend thought long and hard and replied, "My books." The therapist was horrified, and said so ("Not your family? Not your friends?" etc).

Needless to say, my friend found a new therapist.

Never a waste of time. Enriching, life-enhancing, you name it!
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