Wear the old coat and buy the new book. -- Austin Phelps
I am at the very edges of my brain, and so this might not come out coherently, if it comes out at all. ... I have just spent two and a half hours wandering bookstores. I went there looking for nothing at all, and yet something very specific. I didn't know which books I needed to find, but what I wanted was this: to lose the self that I walked in with, and to come out being someone else.
I left home worn to a crisp and exhausted from impossible deadlines of my own making. My joy in my book and in book-writing and in all communication was slim. Withering, even.
Sometimes I need my faith in narratives restored. I need to see other tales being told, and being told well.
And sometimes, I need to buy a whopping stack of books.
So I went to shed this skin of cranky disillusioned alphabet-hating Me, and to walk out loving stories again. To remember how breathtaking a perfect sentence can be. To touch covers and tattered edges and crisp typefaces.
I talked to booksellers, I watched readers, I listened to their passionate opinions. Then came home with beautiful books and unusual books and perfect books. (And a lighter wallet.)
And now I just want to read. Let's close the blinds, take the phones off the hook, pull the Internet connections, and just read and read and read. Perhaps for a month. Maybe two.
... I'll need a year, actually. Because I fell for Julie Rose's translation of Les Miserables. (With a cover that exquisite, can you blame me?) It's over 1300 pages, but I want to be pulled into something enormous like that, something epic and broad, something that actually takes time, a lot of time.
I'm out of patience with everything that's quick and easily forgotten. (Don't get me started on text messaging.) I want dynasties and the sweep of history. Slow-rising bread and long-lasting afternoons. Conversations with pauses. And very, very long books.
And I want the time to hover over every sentence, to swallow every word, every comma, to savor one long book-symphony being played, this time, just for me.