Friday, August 02, 2013

Off The Shelf: Comfort Reads Within Reach

Aside from that never-ending pile of books I'm always trying to tackle, there are a few permanent fixtures at my bedside.

On my nightstand, which is actually an antique record player stand, (too dusty for a photo right now) I have several books nestled into the slots which have been there for quite a long time. Years in fact. And I've re-read them often and likely will continue to! Comfort reads I call them and that's what they are to me.

New England Fancies by W. Elmer Ekblaw from 1935, first edition with an inscription by the author, hardback. A gift from Hubbs back in June of 2007, bought downtown here in our coastal town at a tiny antique bookshop we browsed through after dinner at the Thai place and before a movie at the theater across the street. About each season in New England. It's such a wonderful book! I adore it (and Hubbs knew I would).

A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle, First Vintage Edition paperback, 1991. I found this gem of a memoir at a local library sale in September of 2008, after we visited a beach-side flea market on a very windy but perfectly Autumn Saturday. The library was celebrating their grand re-opening after renovations and expansion. (Sadly, this library was destroyed by the surge and winds of Hurricane Sandy last October. My cousin actually helped with some of the demo work via Habitat for Humanity earlier this year. It's unlikely they've been able to re-open yet). About Mr. Mayle's moving to Provence, it's a fascinating and engaging read and yes, I adore this book too!

Right after we left the library that day, Hubbs decided we were going to head out for an overnight getaway and took me to a Victorian B&B in a beautiful little town along the Delaware River! I couldn't sleep (Queen size bed + King size Hubbs* = Uncomfy me) and stayed up late into the night reading A Year In Provence. (I awoke in the morning sick as a dog with a cold! Getting sick kept me awake too I think).

*What I mean by 'King size Hubbs' is that he's 6'3" with broad shoulders and not a small man by any means!

Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, Broadway Books paperback 1997. Picked up at a local thrift shop around Easter of 2009. I saw the movie Under The Tuscan Sun for the first time in 2009 and fell in love with it! I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book and about jumped up & down when I found it at the thrift shop! Boy was I in for a shock that the memoir the movie is (loosely) based on is nothing like the movie! Once I got over my surprise (and a little disappointment), I had so much fun reading this memoir about renovating a home & living in Tuscany along with drooling over the all the delicious food talk!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Berkley Books movie tie-in paperback, July 2011. Bought at my local Barnes & Noble not too long after I saw the movie in August of 2011. An all time favorite novel and Southern Lit novel. I originally picked up the hardback of The Help in 2009, and started reading it, but I didn't read it and finish it until April of 2011. It always nagged at me that I didn't finish it, so I picked it for the evening bookclub and lead the discussion on it that April. I read the hardback with leading that discussion in mind, so while I truly liked the novel, I didn't enjoy reading it - if that makes any sense. After seeing the movie, I bought the movie tie-in paperback so I could re-read it for myself again. My ticket stub is taped to the inside cover. Another book I've re-read several times and adore. My Mom bought me the audio version as a surprise gift. I've lost track of how many times I've listened to it and I'm not a fan of audio books!

Watching the movie today made me realize something. I stopped wanting to hide my differences from everyone else so that I wouldn't be treated differently because of who I am (a disabled, stay-at-home married woman with no children, job or career) and, excuse my poor grammar here, I've become even more less accepting & tolerant of those who focus on differences instead of similarities. Because of this novel and its movie. Seeing it on the big screen really drove it home for me.

The last fixture on my nightstand isn't a book I read, it's a book I write in. A journal I started the day I had to let my baby girl go, the day she was lost to me. 14 years worth of entries and counting. I'll need to get a new journal for her soon, this one has only a few pages left.

So, aside from your never-ending stack of new reads, what are the permanent fixtures at your bedside?
 
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1 comment:

Susan Hemann said...

I have enjoyed three of the books you mentioned. I do collect vintage books too. Just bought a 1931 edition of The Hobbit.