Wondering and wandering about books

The summer grains of sand kept on slipping into the bottom of the hourglass as we approached the dog days of summer and I finished my daily bedtime reading out loud of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling, and started her second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

I had already purchased the first four Harry Potter novels some years ago, and just prior to the opening of the latest (and presumably last) Harry Potter movie this summer, I bought the last three novels at Borders just in time before Borders began closing all of its stores.  We still have a Barnes & Noble bookstore in San Diego, but it seems that there are far fewer books stores now and many attribute this to discounters, online booksellers and electronic books.  There is no doubt that e-book readers, such as Kindle, are great devices for Airstreaming, since they are small, lightweight, and can “carry” hundreds of books.  I, however, prefer a book that can only be fully experienced and appreciated as an integral whole… its size and weight, the feel of its cover and pages, its images, its smell, as well as its content.

A good example of this is Wanderlust Limited Edition (#0704), Wanderlust – Airstream at 75, Russ Banham, Greenwich Publishing Group, Inc., Connecticut, 2005, with 192 glossy pages and a riveted aluminum slipcover measuring 10″x 12″… a stunning presence.  We were lured into getting our first Airstream trailer in part by beautiful Airstream-themed books and Airstream Life magazine.

I am currently a juror on a 3-week long case and each day I take with me Bill Moyers Journal – The Conversation Continues, which I read during breaks and the hour and a half lunch period.  I use my time clock attendance certification paper as a bookmark within its 594 pages.

The wit and weight of Mark Twain await me in the form of Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, all 737 pages and 4 pounds worth.

I am especially intrigued by antique books such as The Works of Charles Dickens, Volumes VI, XI, and XIV, Thomas Nelson and Sons, London, Edinburgh, New York, 1901-1903… a fly was also curious.

At the beginning of Volume XI, Hard Times, by Charles Dickens, is a wonderful illustration of the character, Tom, talking to his sister, Louisa.

“… Tom went and leaned on the back of her chair, to contemplate the fire which so engrossed her, from her point of view, and see what he could make of it…  ‘Wondering again!’ said Tom.”  (page 56)

Wondering and wandering in books…

So, wouldn’t this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie, a steaming cup of hot coffee, and a Neverending Story.