Monday, April 18, 2011

Sue me, I'm a bibliophile

I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them - with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. - Eudora Welty

Call it an illness. Maybe it is an addiction.

OK, I'll 'fess up. I love books.

Take this past week alone. I'm already juggling Bruce Catton's centennial history of the Civil War, John Laurence's Vietnam volume, "The Cat from Hue," and Douglas Brinkley's book on John Kerry's "Tour of Duty" in that crazy Asian war.

Sitting on the corner of my coffee table is another 'Nam story, "...And A Hard Rain Fell." On the book case is colleague Joe Rector's debut novel, "Baseball Boys."

Somewhere I spot a reference to a Civil War story I wanted to read last year, "Walking to Gatlinburg." So, I surf over to the library's web site. Three days later, I'm picking it up at the Halls branch.

Wednesday night, Mom and I stopped at the Books-A-Million in Oak Ridge. I found a Lincoln book for five bucks and the one Larry McMurtry I didn't own for three. Out front, we stop to skim the bargain bins. And, yeah, I come away with a coming-of-age novel centered around baseball and Bob Schieffer's collection of his commentaries. Hey, they were only a buck apiece.

Yesterday afternoon, Dean Harned and I bounced over to Barnes and Noble before taking in Robert Redford's excellent new flick, "The Conspirator." I found "Breakfast at Tiffany's," which I'd wanted Wednesday, and another Lincoln book in the bargain bin. Oh, I also threw in a magazine about a 77-day stand at Khe Sanh.

Last night I surprised my fiancee with a sick gift. Yes, that meant a return trip to Barnes and Noble. No, I didn't buy anything else. Just wait, though. It gets better.

Jenn has an appointment. I have time to kill. So, I bounce over to, you guessed it, Books-A-Million.

"Be good," I tell myself. "Just browse."

But I spot a History Channel documentary on Lincoln in the bargain bin. Four bucks. Then my eye wanders over to a paperback I'd seen the other night, "How to Read Literature Like A Professor." $13.99. What the heck.

Almost forgot to tell you. Already sitting in my pile is a Pete Hamill, a book on Ike as in Eisenhower, two more Lincolns, a study on the war in Afghanistan and "1861." Oh, yeah, and Dean brought by a book he'd ordered for me on Thomas Jefferson's travels to wineries, a presidential "Sideways," if you please.

Call it what you will. Knowledge is a good addiction.

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Blogger Leigh said...

Me too! Me too!

11:34 AM  

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