Time Out for Books

(Public Domain photo from Wikipedia)

More than anything else, I love to read and write. So if I could choose anyplace to have a time out, it would be a bookstore or library. I love going to bookstores, drinking in the cafe and reading magazines. I always carry a small notebook and pen in my purse, and will sit in the bookstore, writing away at essays, short stories and blog posts. I love to write with pen and paper. I even collect small notebooks — I love anything that is in the shape of a book! I also love to wander the aisles of books in the bookstore and look out for new books that I want to read.

I just feel so comfortable, safe, and secure surrounded by books. When I was in college/university, I would always do my homework at the university library. I would study there for hours in the second floor “stacks” area. I had a heavy load of reading and writing to do, since I majored in English and minored in Journalism. I would sit in a private carrel, tucked away on the sides of the building, and work hard, occasionally gazing out the windows at the passing students below. I was especially happy if I was studying a subject I liked, such as World Geography, History of Cinema as Art, or my literature and writing courses. I would look around me, surrounded by books, and sigh with pure contentment.

I used to own over 4000 books, but the very small space that I live in now doesn’t allow me to do that. But I still have 4 bookcases filled with books. I cannot imagine not having books surrounding me. Even if I ever was able to afford an e-reader, I would still have physical books around. I love the look and feel of books.

I had so many books because I live in a town that is obsessed with them. In the spring they have dozens of book sales all over town. There is one weeklong sale that has a bag sale on the last day — all the books you can stuff in a paper grocery bag for $5.00. The line forms by the door and down the parking lot before the sale even opens for business. I still always carry a paperback in my purse. 

My elderly car was called The Bookmobile. I always had many books tucked away in the glove box, seats and trunk. I didn’t want to end up stranded without books!

This post was written for the Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop, from Prompt #2: If you were put in “time out”, where would you want to be placed and why?

J.D. Salinger 1919-2010

J. D. Salinger has died. The famously reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye and many short stories was 91.

Salinger started publishing in The New Yorker at an early stage of his year. They eventually published 7 short stories. Catcher in the Rye, published in 1951, brought him fame and the kind of attention he grew to hate, although it made Holden Caulfield into an iconic literary creation (Holden had actually appeared earlier in a short story). While not as mysterious at Thomas Pynchon (who is he?!) Salinger retreated to the countryside of New Hampshire to try to lead a simple life.

Salinger apparently continued to write throughout his life, but simply stopped publishing his work after the 1960s. There is ongoing speculation about whether of this work will ever be published.

I always had written nonfiction because I thought that I couldn’t write fiction. It was frustrating. I couldn’t come up with ideas, of if I did, I couldn’t come up with interesting plots. I knew I was a talented writer, but why couldn’t I write fiction? Did I have no imagination? But I knew that wasn’t true. Journalism and essays came easily to me. My literature and journalism professors always told me I was gifted. Writing nonfiction was the one thing that I could do well. But I also wanted to write fiction.A few years ago, I re-read Salinger’s Nine Stories. I had read it before, but this time it was an epiphany. I read each story carefully, and really thought about it. Suddenly, I was brimming over with ideas of stories of my own. I started scribbling them down, but I could couldn’t write quickly enough. It was a real breakthrough. I have no idea if they are any good, but I keep on writing them. What joy!

Rest in Peace, Mr. Salinger.

It’s So Amazing

It’s so amazing that we live in a world where we can all share how we feel about different things. For instance, it’s so nice to know that there are other people out there who love books as much as I do. 

I hope to share with you the books that I have recently read, and will also discuss my writing career. I am submitting essays and short stories to publishers in the hopes of being published one day. 

I am also obsessed with cats, typography, fonts, obscure movies, and all sorts of weird things. I tend to be obsessed with the things I like. There are no half-way measures with me!