Friday, July 6, 2012

06 July I Always Need Something To Read

For five years while we lived in Alameda, California, we had the benefit of using the Alameda Free Library. It was a perfect situation for us: the branch library was a five minute stroll from our front door and the library staff were helpful and friendly; we could request whatever we wanted to read and be notified by email or phone when to come pick it up; the library had an excellent selection of new and older materials.

 Now that we are traveling again, we find ourselves suddenly aware of the necessity to maintain our reading supplies. It's easier this time than when we started traveling the first time, in 2000, because we have resources that were not so easily available back then -- Amazon and the Internet primarily. We can read ebooks on our laptops, and on our Kindle (we even downloaded a couple of Kindle books while we were in Germany. The experience was fast and easy and there was no extra charge.) But no sooner had we started off, and even though our truck contained a dozen or more books I planned to read, I wanted -- needed! -- more. I seem to need a good half-dozen books to make sure I have something to read.

 A couple of trips to Barnes and Noble produced nothing. But we have begun visiting independent books stores with much better luck. Early on, in Minnesota, we found a bookstore, arriving just at opening time. The clerk was just pulling up to the store as we arrived, and the store cat complained that it was past feeding time. We found several interesting titles and tucked them in our book box. In another city we happened to notice a sign on a store, which led to a shop selling new and used books. Just before entering Canada, the yellow pages in our motel room led me to a small bookstore which sold mostly toys, but which contained Pulphead, which has been on my list for months, and Peder Victorious, an old novel about Norwegians in the Dakota Territory (I prefer to read about places where I'm traveling). Finally, in the lobby of a North Dakota motel, I found a bookshelf with a collection of children's and adult books, to be borrowed and later returned that motel or another in the chain. I found a novel by Oakley Hall, and immediately started reading it. I think we'll be just fine.


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