This is Neil Gaiman's library. Mine looks just like it. :)
2:47 AM. I sit straight up in bed, my head hunched forward over my laptop so it doesn't touch the wall behind me. Why? Because I am dyeing my hair. Yup. Loreal from Paris, Natural Medium Brown is dribbling down my scalp and reeking through my bedroom.
But I don't mind.
Because, for once, a rare opportunity arises. A 45-minute respite from life in which I am forced to sit on my bed watching time pass on my alarm clock. And I'd rather do anything than watch time pass.
So I turn to the stack of books at my bedside and remind myself what I've been collecting close by me at night, so close that I can ease my itty-bitty-book-light out of the night stand and sneak in more reading once my husband falls asleep.
Early November and I can tell where my life interersts lie because of what I'm reading: The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views from the Industry, an outstanding book, edited by Victor S. Navasky and Evan Corning. I discovered this book at the CP/Halfmoon Public Library in a wonderful nonfiction display, read a few paragraphs and sprinted to make it mine through East Line Book's main supplier, Baker & Taylor. I love John Gregory Dunne's (Joan Didion's late husband) essay about how a seasoned writer brings "professional DNA to a story".
Next, A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature by Roger Sutton & Martha V. Parravano--what the Boston Globe calls "A godsend for adults who want to instill a passion for reading in the next generation." With that comment on the front cover, how could I pass it up? And, I have to say, the books the authors suggest for kids are OUTSTANDING. I have just ordered almost all of them for East Line Books. The only reason I didn't order ALL of them was because some are out of print (I did order used copies when I could find them reasonably priced) and because I didn't want to go broke. But you can bet that whole bibliography will end up on our shelves at East Line!
Okay, the rest of the list: Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-Five Important Writers; Out of the Mold: Independent Voices Breaking Out of the Mold, Published in Celebration of Independent Bookselling (HOORAY!!); The Best of The Sun, Volume 2 (I already own Volume 1); Curiosities of Literature; A Pocketful of Prose; Reading Group Choices--2013; and How to Read Literature Like a Professor.
And now you know why, when you ask me if I've read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (a riveting book I am told) or Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (which I hear is great), I say, NOT YET. I will get to it, believe me, because I LOVE novels.
And I LOVE books about writing.
And I LOVE biographies and memoirs.
And I LOVE classics.
And I LOVE poetry.
And I LOVE children's and young adult books.
And I LOVE cookbooks.
And I LOVE nonfiction in general.
And I LOVE....Well, you get the idea.
P.S. And this is why I shouldn't dye my own hair. I inevitably get lost in the books at my bedside which is why my hair now looks combustible black. But, you know what? It was worth it.