Thursday, November 29, 2007

Train conversation

Yesterday I was on the train with a nodding acquaintance and started chatting. I really wanted to read my book, but it seemed impolite to pull it out, so our conversation continued after we had exhausted the usual topics related to our kids. Then he floored me by stating that he hates reading, never reads (except what he does for work, and newspapers), and thinks that books are overrated because he is always disappointed by them. At this point, I was trying to figure out how to get out of this was still 5 minutes from my station, and I couldn't just get off the train in far West Philly and still make it to work on time. I really didn't know what to say except, "Hmm, interesting you feel that way." Honestly, I think I was as horrified as if he had announced that he was a serial killer in his spare time. At least if that had been his confession, I would have known what steps to take. In this situation, though, I don't think that I can turn him in at the local police station.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Once a bookseller...

Previous post about buying books prompted me to share this amusing experience... a couple of days ago Hobbled Runner (hubby) and I had the rare occasion have having some time to spare - together - while waiting for the kids. We were near a newish independent bookstore owned by a not-to-be-named well known national radio show host who hails from Minnesota. It's a very cute cozy store in the basement of a Victorian era building. Not huge, but of course very well stocked with good books as opposed to mass market stuff. And not surprisingly, books by the radio show host/owner.

Anyway, as we were browsing, another customer asked for some books. The clerk wasn't familiar with the titles, (I sympathize, as I have been a bookseller), but he was rather inept in tracking them down. My ears perked up because one of the books the customer was seeking was published by the MHS Press- the publishers at the Historical Society. I work with their website, so am familiar with their titles.

I was finally so irritated with the inability of this clerk to find the book that I blurted out the name of the author from 4 rows over... rather irritating of me, I'm sure, but geez! I admit the name of the book escaped me at the moment, but I had the author, and he STILL had a hard time finding the book. (Have we ever heard of the internet???) Then it turns out that the author had been at the store the night BEFORE for a signing. So, in the end, I was wholly unimpressed with the staff at the store.

We bought a couple of books anyway - following my general guideline of either a) buying a book I really love or an author I really like; or b) a book that may take me a while to read so don't want to get from the library....

Monday, November 19, 2007


When I was a kid, I had some favorite books that I read over and over again. Sometimes I would close the back cover, flip the book over, and start again on the spot. So having my own copies of those favorite books was extremely important; how could I read Bambi, for instance, whenever I needed to, if I didn’t have my own copy? And then there was the pleasure of having a nice new book – paperbacks were good, but hardbacks were beyond luxurious.

I don’t buy nearly so many books now. My shelves are quite full, but more than anything else, I rarely re-read anymore. Even if I really love a book, it seems a waste to re-read it when there are so many things out there that I want to read. I still do occasionally: I re-read the Harry Potter books to prepare each time a new one came out, and every few years I read a Jane Austen or two. But mostly I just check things out from the library.

Do you re-read anything? And if so, what?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Do Good, Improve Vocabulary

Daughter came home with this cool website -

According to the site, it has two goals:

  1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free.
  2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.
Check it out. Donate rice. See if you can raise your vocabulary level.... I won't print mine here quite yet.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, DocJen!

Many happy returns of the day to you, and may you enjoy a good book and a glass of wine this evening!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

National Bundt Day

Bundt Cake Bliss
Did you know that November 15 is National Bundt Cake Day???? Really..... it really is. Watch Martha Stewart on the 15th to see for yourself!

I moved this conversation over to Fertile.... The thread commenced with JH putting the very fun Hot Dish Heaven cookbook in goodreads. (I have to admit a bias here - this book is published by my employer.) I then had to do a shameless plug for Bundt Cake Bliss.... (more bias here - not only is this published by my employer, but the author is a good friend. Read more about her in the Hobbled Runner story....) I admit I know far more about Bundts than I ever thought I'd want to.

So, then I come to learn something very interesting about our co-author julienj... did you know she has a "thing" about bundts? I've known her for well over 20 years, and NEVER knew that!!! Crazy! I want PICTURES of all your bundt pans!

If any of you, julienj in particular, wish to share any of your stories about bundts, please do so.... to go along with the publication of said book, we are collecting stories - it seems many people have secret obsessions or fond memories of Lutheran church dinners or grandma's favorite bundt! (Here are some more Bundt crazy people's comments on the Bundt)

p.s. julienj - I will put an autographed copy of the book in the mail for you if you can wait that long..... the reason you don't have many good recipes is that this is really only the 2nd Bundt cookbook ever published! isn't that ridiculous....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Ahh, memories

After reading The Wednesday Wars, J was interested in reading some Shakespeare. I obligingly pulled out my Riverside, and although he had fun looking at it, deemed it too large to read in bed. We took a little trip to B&N and he picked out one of those little pb copies of Hamlet that you can buy. He hasn't read it yet, but it's in his pile (must be genetic, that pile!)

The whole situation, as it played out, reminded me so much of books I'd read as a kid that would lead me to other "real" books. I went out and bought Ivanhoe with my babysitting money, sure that I, too, would have to read it during some summer of highschool like Betsy and the Crowd at Deep Valley High. And wasn't Marmee always reading Pilgrim's Progress to the girls? Never read more than a few pages of either of those.

Do you remember books within books that you always wanted to read?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

YA reading

You all know how much I love YA books. Some I read because I’m trying to find good stuff for A, but to be honest I read most of it for myself.

Is this silly for a 42-year-old?

It’s not that I don’t like grown-up books. And not just chick lit, either.

And yet, when I’m on the train, I find myself surreptitiously covering the title of my YA books in case someone (adult) sees what I’m reading. I don’t do that if I’m reading a “real” book.

Is this just me?