Ok, I admit it, I can’t walk past a bookstore without going in and browsing, usually buying. Definition of a junkie: 2. One who has an insatiable interest or devotion (thefreedictionary.com). Amazon sends me packages regularly and Barnes & Noble gets my walkin business weekly, at least. I’m fortunate enough to live within a mile of one of the great sites in Los Angeles, The Grove & Farmers Market. Several times a week I walk to this shopping area and often stop for a “new read” on my way to breakfast or lunch. That way I only have to carry it one way. Ouch!
There’s a great little bookstore, Chevalier’s, in Larchmont Village, within two miles of my home. I can chat with the owner endlessly and she always has great suggestions. She’s figured out what makes me dream and feeds my interests. Recently, she said, “You just have to read TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD, reading it is so different from watching that great movie with Gregory Peck.” I left with it and THE HARE WITH AMBER EYES by Edmund De Waal, PARIS by Edward Rutherfurd, something by C. S. Lewis and a book on Taoism. SUMMER READING!
Books are my babies these days. It wasn’t always that way. I wish I had learned how calm the world around me could be at an earlier age. Reading sweeps you away and returns you with a new perspective to your own world. I didn’t get the fever for reading until around age twenty-six. A friend had recommended a romance novel. It was quite titillating so I read another. That one seemed too much like the last one. I had the idea to go to a used bookstore and found it quite fascinating. Where did I start? ANNA KARENINA popped out at me. I was hooked. History and romance while I escaped! “Wait, I thought I hated history.” Oh, that was high school history. Not the same.
So what’s permanently sitting on the little table next to my reading chair? Always, Mike Dooley’s books: MANIFESTING CHANGE AND LEVERAGING THE UNIVERSE. They are like bibles for me. Anything Mike writes is inspirational and his new book for children is marvelous as well as beautifully illustrated; DREAMS COME TRUE, ALL THEY NEED IS YOU. Also, A SENSE OF BEAUTY by George Santayana, I dog ear my books (I know!), because I want to go back again and again to the passages that have helped me design my life. I found a two book set of short stories by W. Sommerset Maugham on my bookshelves recently and have no clue how long they’ve been there, a find from a used bookstore I’m sure. I read them for diversion, he was such a marvelous writer. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald, he sweeps you to a time and place discussing the lives of interesting people. It seems to me everyone is interesting if you get to the heart of their story.
I’m not planning on reforming. I know my voracious appetite for reading is how I learned to mold my life to a shape that’s fulfilling. Everything we ever wanted to know about ourselves, our world and beyond, our minds can glean from the available information that other soles have written. We just need to be discerning.
I hope my readers are READERS. Books are a Caregiver’s friend.