Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Book shopping at a *chain*

Hi, I'm Sarah, and I spent some time near a mall yesterday, at the local Borders. Now I feel like I should go to the book-addict's version of AA. Is there such a thing? If not, can we please start one? (It would be called, of course, a chapter.) I can say, in my own defense, that I needed a few gifts that my local independent bookstores just didn't stock (and I also needed to buy packing tape at the Staples on the other side of the parking lot, and no, there is no local office supply store anywhere around here anymore). Borders. Essentially a mob scene, though an orderly one, because these are book buyers, after all. And how: people buying baskets full of books and dvds and what-have-you. A long wait in a long line to buy the three little things I came in for. I felt kind of sick afterwards, and I came out of there like a drunk staggering out of a bar. Then I got stuck in horrendous traffic. I don't know what I was thinking, being anywhere near a mall two days before Christmas. It was profoundly depressing to see all the rampant consumption and worse, to be a part of that rampant consumption. The holiday season was never like that in my little shop - and I don't think I would have liked it so much if it was, despite wanting to, you know, make a living and all. Well, at least a lot of people around here are getting books this year for Christmas.

Which is a very white one here in Maine this year - in fact, it's snowing again right now. Before the big snow came, Ryan and I went into the woods behind our house with a bucksaw and cut down a small balsam fir, then brought it into the house and decorated it sparingly, and now it's sending out its wonderful scent. I wrapped a few gifts this morning, some books included, went for a walk, lugged in some firewood, and thought about the meaning of the season. Endings and new beginnings, hope in the dark of winter. Giving. Receiving. Quietude. Not a mall in sight.

Blessings to you and your families.


And a post-Merry Christmas to you, as well as an early Happy New Year. Lots of snow here, as well as lots of books as gifts. In fact, I'm getting back to one right now.

Ahhhh...a post from Sarah is a lovely gift!
Hey, thanks, you two - the snow has mostly melted here, and the holidays are nearly over, and I am deep into reading memoirs and collected letters of various painters. While stretching canvases and thinking about what to work on next. And stoking the woodstove. Life is very sweet at the moment. I hope likewise for you.
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