Thursday, November 5, 2009

What I'm reading

One thing I love about NYC is the stoop sales! The season is getting on now, but throughout the summer and early fall, we would wander around the neighbourhood on weekend mornings, hunting down stoop sales and finding all sorts of treasures. And almost equally abundant are the free items left out on the curb for the benefit of the likes of us. Our apartment is full to bursting of steals and deals that we brag about often.

One department in particular that has benefited most from this new lifestyle is my library. I promised my husband several months ago that I would cease and desist with the purchase of new reading material. I certainly have nothing against the local library, but I grow easy and deep attachments to my books, and have a very difficult time bringing myself to part with them once the due date comes around. I also covet new books. I just love the look, the smell, the feel, the shiny "newness" of them. But, in the interest of not digging further into our black hole of debt for unnecessary luxuries, I have complied. And in return, my neighbours have smiled on me. I have procured no less than 20 books since arriving in Brooklyn, and at least half of those were gifted to me by the fairy book gods who leave them by the boxful outside of their gates for passersby to adopt. The rest have been purchased for a pittance at various stoops.

I am averaging about 2 books a month. A snail's pace, I admit, but my time spent reading is limited primarily to the time I spend nursing baboushka. And so far I have not been disappointed by any of my selections. These days I am reading a book called Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This is a book I discovered last year, while researching books for our book club in Grenada. At the time we had more titles than time to read them and it was dropped from the list. But it has stayed in the back of my mind and on more than one occasion I have been one click away from an Amazon purchase before remembering my vow to my darling husband. So you can imagine my pure unabashed joy at finding it staring up at me while rifling through a box of free books around the corner from our house. Quite serendipitous. I scooped it up and put it aside until I was finished the book I was already reading*.
I picked it up about a week ago now and it has been an effort to put it down at the end of each session. From the first few pages it had me, and each time I pick it up the hooks sink a little deeper. It is a mystery, translated from Spanish, about a boy and a book he discovers that holds many secrets. It reminds me of a more sinister Neverending Story. I am absolutely smitten with it and am now wondering what I am doing writing about it when I could be reading it. Please excuse me...

*A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I think I will devote another entry to this gem of a novel!

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