Bookish Fantasy

Sometimes, I find myself buying a book at the used bookstore, thinking I’ve never read it, only to get it home, get a few pages in, and discover I have, in fact, encountered it before. Sometimes I don’t mind, but equally as often, I’m disappointed. I mean, I’m all for rereading things, but I want to do it consciously.

So, I have a bookish fantasy. I wish that whenever I finished a book, a ticker tape would emerge from my brain, like paper from an epson receipt printer, and be stored in some multi-dimensional pocket of the universe that I could easily access and cross-reference whenever I was book shopping. In this way, I could see for certain what I’d read, and when, and how much I’d paid for the copy.

As long as I’m fantasizing, I want something that will trigger my memory when I’m staring at shelves, trying to figure out what I want to buy, because often I read other people’s reviews, and think, “I should write down that title,” but I don’t, and then I have no idea what it was I’m looking for.

But then, other people likely don’t have this issue, just as I’m quite certain I’m the only person who can stand in the middle of a bookstore and complain, “There’s nothing to read.”

New Author Crush: Michael Perry

I tend to read the same way most people approach a dip bar – several repetitions of one author (or, um, exercise) and then a rest. In plainer language, I mean that when I find an author whose work I like, I read everything they’ve written, as quickly as possible, in succession, and then move on, at least for a while.

My current “author crush,” as I tend to describe these reading moods, is one Michael Perry. I’ve written, already, about recently reading his book, Population: 485, and I’m currently in the middle of his second memoir, Truck: a Love Story. Both are warm, funny, vivid and candid in all the right balances. Both have thoughtful sections as well, and I’m really enjoying revisiting the upper midwest, in a way I haven’t done, through literature, since I first discovered Kathleen Norris, early in my marriage.

Norris and Perry are nothing alike, and yet, both have this intense love of the land that comes through their words, and makes you want to sink your fingers into fresh earth, or pick a sun-ripened tomato and eat it, straight from the vine.

I just wanted to take a moment, and share that.

Oh, and to say,the signed copy of Perry’s most recent book, in hardcover, arrived on Thursday.