Yesterday the Crankee Yankee told me that he wanted to take me to Barnes and Noble to buy some new books. As he put it, he was sick and tired of me re-reading all my Harry Potter books over and over again. Since the corona virus rudely upset our collective apple cart, plus the fact that our library is deep into renovation (and Heaven only knows when they will be done and open again), the only way to find new books is to go buy some.
After a long and enjoyable visit and a bag full of six new books, I couldn’t wait to get home to start reading. It’s a funny thing—when things change so drastically these days, we all seem to go to our own “spaces” to get away from all this *sturm and drang. For some, it’s exercising, or gardening, or writing, or reading and so on. Whatever gets you through the nights or days is a good thing.
I remember one of my teachers way back in grammar school, who wrote on the blackboard this that I have never forgotten: “There is no frigate like a book.” There is something both soothing, comforting and exciting about reading a really good book. It truly can take you away to another place and time.
Over time when I would go to our library to pick up some good reading, I would first go to my favorite authors. After that, I’d take a chance at a few new authors just to see if I’d like them. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t. But all in all, it was always wonderful to dive into a brand new book.
Perhaps there is another purpose to what’s going on these days; perhaps we are meant to be in our houses together; perhaps we will get to know each other better and be more tolerant and find that we are living our days without the usual hurry/worry. Perhaps a few hours with a really good book may make all the difference in our attitudes and new way of life.
*From Merriam Webster: Sturm und Drang comes from German, where it literally means “storm and stress.” Although it’s now a generic synonym of “turmoil,” the term was originally used in English to identify a late 18th-century German literary movement whose works were filled with rousing action and high emotionalism, and often dealt with an individual rebelling against the injustices of society. The movement took its name from the 1776 play Sturm und Drang, a work by one of its proponents, dramatist and novelist Friedrich von Klinger. Although the literary movement was well known in Germany in the late 1700s, the term “Sturm und Drang” didn’t appear in English prose until the mid-1800s.