May this season bring you the joy of being with those you love, numerous new books to read, and the time to read them. At least in northwestern Montana, I’ve had the good fortune to read lots of good books these last few weeks. The weather has been white and chilly. Curled up inside with a cup of tea (or some evenings a glass of Buffalo Trace) while immersed in a book feels heavenly. When it gets dark around 4:30pm, it encourages getting absorbed in a good read and then all at once it is midnight. I know there are some who like to linger over a book, stretching it out over days if not weeks. But for me personally, my favorite way to savor a book is to read it in huge chucks so I forget everything and anything else going on, becoming one with the book.
The season so far has brought me some newer books as well as older ones. Not a quick read but one that sparked lots of conversations with others in my circle who have read it, is Nikole Hannah-Jones’s The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story. I wish every school library had a copy. From 1619, I was pulled into The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, published in 1952 but could have been written in the last few years, as so much unfortunately hasn’t changed. A friend recommended Maryanne Wolf’s Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World but while waiting for that to come in through interlibrary loan, I was able to enjoy Wolf’s Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. Is it any surprise that someone surrounded by books, as well as a retired teacher and currently obsessed with letterpress printing, would be fascinated by how alphabets were developed and the process of learning to read? Other recent books include The Last White Man by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid, and Bonnie Garmus’s Lessons in Chemistry.
So now back to a bit of reading (currently the midmorning weather in northwest Montana is 7°F and snowing) and letterpress printing holiday cards. There are people who encourage me to take the traveling bookstore south in the winter, plying my wares at retirement communities in Arizona, but if I did that there just wouldn’t be these lovely stretches of time to read.