Saturday, June 19, 2010

You Don't Take an Alcoholic to a Liquor Store, and You Don't Take Me to a Bookstore

This was the week when I make the "sacrifice" to take my son to brass camp in another town (1.5 hrs away) so he can hang out with other brass players and get to work with a professional, touring tuba player. While he's doing that from 9-3, I'm hanging out at the big public library. Some sacrifice, huh?

This particular library has a little bookstore of used and discarded books, and I ended up buying a couple of books for my daughter to read.  I'm trying to get her to move past the Warriors series. It's not that I think anything is wrong with that series, but when she starts re-reading the same books over and over, I'd like for her to discover some of the other wonderful characters and stories that are out there. The two books were Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech and Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. She has taken Chasing Vermeer to her bedroom, so maybe she's going to actually read it. If she does, I'm going to try to get her to be a guest blogger.

So, I could justify that little incident of addiction by saying I did it for my daughter. But what happened yesterday has no such easy justification - it was all for selfish reasons!  After I picked up my son from his camp, we had three hours to kill before the camp's final concert. Eventually, we ended up at a chain bookstore (he suggested it! It's really not my fault, ha ha!). I meandered around for a while, waiting for him and idly looking at the science fiction and history for something that might make a good Father's Day gift for my husband.  Somehow I ended up in the teen section, and that's when it happened - all my willpower and self-control broke down.

At first, I was bemoaning (as usual) the glut of vampires and dark magic books that make up the teen section, and then I began to idly look for an "N" book for my A-Z reading challenge (see how innocent temptation appears at first?!). My intention was to find a title and then look for it in the local library.  But then I found A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. I was interested in the blurb, especially when I found that the book is set in 1906 and ties in with Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (one of those things I read a portion of as an English major years ago in college).  But I was able to put it back on the shelf and move on.

Then I saw Ophelia  by Lisa Klein, and I was doomed.  I've been interested in Ophelia since I found it browsing in one of those other "killing time" sessions spent in a bookstore. This time, though, I opened it and read a little, and I was hooked. It's not in the local library. I could probably get it on interlibrary loan, it was, so convenient.

There's probably a name for the psychological mechanism that worked on me. I probably could have resisted if there had been only one book. But to find TWO books that intrigued me, TWO books that didn't have any connections to vampires and do have some connection to history...let's face it, I didn't have a chance!

I have a wonderful summer of reading ahead of me!

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