I don’t want to brag, but I am rich! Not in money exactly, but I have so many books stacked up to take on vacation that I feel like the Warren Buffet of book-wealth right now, and let me tell you, that feels like riches to me.
What I love to do is take so many books with me to our family cabin in Michigan that I have the luxury of choosing which one to read next. Not which one I have to read to review. Not which one I have to read next for an award committee. Not which one I need to read for my department’s Battle of the Books list. Not even which one I should read to feel like I am semi up-to-date in my field, though today I am reading Gary Schmidt’s Okay for Now. No, on vacation I will be choosing from my stack of books which one I want to read next, for me. I’m rich!
On vacation, I have certain books I always take. I always take something by the Scottish writer D.E. Stevenson. She was writing mostly during the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and her books have a very comforting old-fashioned appeal for me. (Sadly, these days I have to really work to ignore the sexism, elitism, and worst of all the racism, but they do capture a particular time and place.) If you only ever read one, read Miss Buncle’s Book, which continues to completely charm me.
I always take at least one mystery–a P.D. James, a Martha Grimes, or lately a lighter Braun “The Cat Who…” book. For many years, like…6 of them, I had the newest Harry Potter to read out loud to my guys, but no more. A couple of years ago I had the newest Hunger Games to read, which was cool. But what I love the most is having the luxury of time to read what I think of as grown-up books. Presumably most of you reading think of them as just, you know, books.
Most years I ask the readers advisory librarians (Hi Mary and Greta!) for help picking things out, but this year thanks to Good Reads, I already had flagged a long list of things “to read”. I actually sort of missed talking with them but I already had too many! So I am happily heading off to the cabin with a new Anne Tyler, a book about weeds, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (yes I am behind), A History of Love (ditto), the next Kate Atkinson…I forget what all. Anyway, lots. More than I can possibly read. And that makes me happy.
By the way, for any burglars who might be ready, we have a very ferocious cat-sitter. So, don’t bother. And if anyone wants to see what I end up reading, you will find it on Good Reads under Susan Dove.
P.S. This doesn’t even include the audiobooks! And then there’s doing logic problems, and crosswords, and a jigsaw puzzle, and swimming, and walking, and playing games… Yay, vacation!
P.P.S. I earned this vacation.