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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bookless in Seattle

For the first time in my life, I have nothing to read. Nothing! I'm totally disoriented. I'm twitching and hallucinating and muttering to myself. I'm visiting family, 3,000 miles away from my tower of nightstand books. I came here having hastily packed, with only one half-finished novel (which I read on the plane), thinking I would just buy new books while I'm out here. Because I'm not in the Middle of Nowhere. I'm in Seattle. A reading city, bursting with incredible bookstores.

But my time during bookstore hours has been taken up with family activities over Memorial Day weekend. My time has not been my own. I did orbit Third Place Books at a farmers market on Sunday, but had to help my parents carry vegetables. We had walked to the market, and had a big dinner to cook. I cast longing looks at the bookstore and experienced chest pains as I walked away. Radishes? Who cares about radishes? I am out of reading material, people!

I could have borrowed a book from my parents, but we have different tastes in reading (Death Begins in the Colon just isn't calling out to me right now for some reason). Besides, it's a new book I'm craving. An uncreased cover. The crack of a spine as I turn to page one.

I've never been in this situation. When I pack for a trip, I'm more likely to throw in an extra book than an extra shirt. I'll wear the wrong type of footwear all week but have an ample layer of words. Even as a kid, I'd look forward to picking out my special "airplane books" so I'd never be caught without reading material. Maybe it's a habit I picked up from my grandmother, who never went anywhere without a paperback mystery in a neat paper bag.

Yet here I am. Inexplicably bookless. I'm starting to understand the appeal of a Kindle.

I awakened early today, groping for a book that was not there. I looked at the clock. Three hours till the nearest bookstore opens. Could I dash there before visiting my grandmother? Squeeze in a book run before picking up my rental car and heading over to see my mother? One thing I love about my hometown is the abundance of drive-through coffee joints. Why don't we have 24-hour drive-through bookstores? (The Kindle. I know, I know. I'll think about it).

One hour and forty-two minutes until the nearest bookstore opens. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous liz michalski said...

I hope you found a fabulous book, Diana! (And I'm jealous you are in Seattle - a good frined of mine lives there and it is one of my favorite places.) Have you tried Delancey's restaurant? It's on my list of places to go ... someday!

June 5, 2011 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Diana Renn said...

I don't know Delancey's -- will have to look for that next time. My dining options have shrunk considerably since I now travel with my little guy! And yes I found a book -- Libba Bray's GOING BOVINE!

June 6, 2011 at 1:16 PM  

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