Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Salon: Reading around the holidays, refuge in books

Sometimes life overtakes reading, especially once we head into the holiday season.  There's all that cooking to do and then all that eating to do.  And next month there's all that present stuff, which isn't limited to the day (or days) of course as those presents all have to be purchased first.  But if the holidays present a challenge and a distraction (and heaven knows I am easily distracted) to me in terms of reading or reviewing, I still manage to be around books and to seek refuge in books.  It goes without saying that many of my presents are books.  And also self-evident: many of the presents I give are books.  But even before we get to the present giving portion of the holidays, I always live in and around books.

We had our annual after-Thanksgiving Escape the Family party (for when family togetherness has worn a little thin) last night and even in the midst of the busy chaos, I had the perfect excuse to sneak away and commune with my bookshelves.  See, I am known in the neighborhood as the one to go to when you need to know about a book.  So last night one of our guests asked if she could possibly borrow Life of Pi before she sees the movie.  Normally I don't lend books except to a privileged few but Life of Pi is a book I'm not terribly attached to in the spirit of the season, I agreed to lend it to her.  This necessitated a trip to my shelves right that very moment.  As we stood in front of them, disorganized and chaotic as they currently are, I felt a real sense of peace.  I know that sounds ridiculous and corny but when an introvert like me agrees to host a party open to any and all of our friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, it is not just cheesy but completely true all the way to my very soul.  The kids were in the next room watching a movie and being generally loud and boisterous but I stood in front of my shelves quietly, contentedly, and happily for a moment or two.  It's a feeling I wish I could bottle.  Eventually I dove in and pulled Martel's book out so I could return to the noise and cheer and entertaining upstairs.  Everyone should have an oasis in this busy season, a place to find absolute quiet contentment.  I'm just lucky mine is in the presence of books and so easy to find.

Because of Thanksgiving, my husband's birthday, the party on Saturday, and everything I had to do to prepare for all three, my weekly travels in books were rather abbreviated.  I tried to adjust to life away from my small Mississippi town and my very best friends so I could be with my work obsessed fiance.  I contemplated the varied joys and obsessions with gardens.  I still have bookmarks moving slowly through three other books, two of which can be dipped into and enjoyed in small moments, perfect for the season.  Where did your book travels take you this week?

1 comment:

  1. Kristen, I can totally relate to escaping to the shelves for a bit of quiet contentment during an otherwise busy, noisy time. For me, I escaped on the pretense that I wanted to find an old photo to show our guests :)
    May the holiday season bring you a few peaceful moments as well.


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