One of the best things about the long drive to visit my brothers in Southern California recently is that I had time to read a few books which have been in my TBR (to-be-read) stack for quite a while. No, not while I was driving. Thoughtful Husband was driving; I was reading. I am sure that many of you would not like to read in a car, but I have somehow managed to be able to do so without it making me feel nauseous. I think this is why: When riding in a car, I cannot get up to answer a phone, to ship an order, to make a meal, or to do laundry. My children are
strapped seat-belted into immobility safety in their seats. Thoughtful Husband is busy concentrating on the road and the route. It is the perfect time for me to pick up a book and read uninterrupted. To have a long drive ahead and to not have to drive the car is a rare gift and it is best not to reject this gift by letting it make me car-sick.
I finally had time to read Wendy McClure’s The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. I also read Correspondence: A Novel in Letters, by N. John Hall. Next, I re-read a book I first read several years ago, Charles P. Everitt’s Adventures of a Treasure Hunter, an antiquarian bookseller’s memoir. Depending on whether you’re reading my blog because you are a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder or a bibliophile who loves Victorian literature or an antiquarian bookseller, I can happily recommend every title I read. I am so glad that I liked each book. There is nothing worse than making the time to read for pleasure and then having to read something you don’t like. Life’s too short for that.
A little bit of food for thought, from Adventures of a Treasure Hunter. Everitt quotes a privately printed book, Housed on the Third Floor, by book collector Bruce Cotten:
Book collecting, whether an acquired taste or an acquired nuisance, is in either case acquired. It develops by degrees, and passes through numerous forms and phases, rather curious to look upon. At first you only want certain sorts and kinds of books and reject innumerable volumes that in after years you are violently seeking. You only by degrees overcome your prejudices and dislikes and gradually find yourself including and exploring in ever larger fields. Then there is always, and for a long time, a struggle, when you realize that the disease has really gripped you; and numerous determinations are made to stop this thing entirely and not to permit yourself to be classed with those mildly deranged people who collect things.
I’ve enjoyed many bookseller memoirs, but this one, for its explanations of the mind of the bookseller and the mind of the book collector, is one of the best I have yet to read.
See you in the stacks!