Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More book arrivals

Before it began to get light this morning I got a call from one of my daughters.  It was only later I realized the caller ID showed she was using her twin sister's cell phone.  She had taken her sister to the emergency room last night, neither had had any sleep, and they were still in the ER, hoping to leave soon.  It seems the stomach bug going around had hit one daughter hard, and she was dehydrated.  But the REAL problem was that she had passed out and hit her head.  When she got up, she fell and hit her head again.  Her husband was out of town, her daughter and son-in-law were both sick with that bug, so her teenage son called his aunt.

To make a long story short, my daughter does NOT have a concussion, though she has a bump on her forehead which hurts when touched.  Both daughters were sleepy and tired this morning, and one needed to get to work.  Would I come babysit my other daughter?  It's been oh-so-long since they were babies (they'll turn 50 on May 3rd), but the one going to work didn't want to risk her sister falling again and called to see if I could come.  I'm the night owl in the family -- they should have called me in the middle of the night so ONE of them could sleep, but it didn't occur to them they would be there so long.

Now "the rest of the story," as Paul Harvey always said.

Knowing my daughter would need to sleep today, I took a book with me (every book lover knows to take a book wherever we go).  I chose Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, the new book that arrived in yesterday's mail.  I failed to consider the fact that I'd read half the book at bedtime last night, which meant I finished it within an hour or two this morning.  So I folded a few clothes, read Anna Quindlen's article about the demise of printed books in the most recent issue of Time magazine that I found on her counter, looked at her newest paintings in her art room (my daughter is an artist with a show coming up in a couple of weeks), and -- finally -- started looking at the titles on her bookshelves.  That's what we bookaholics do.

The book I found was The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls, which everyone seems to love and I had not yet read. How could I resist this opening sentence?
"I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster."
I was hooked and had read about a fifth of the book when my daughter woke up.  When she saw what I was reading, she insisted I would also like Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel, also by Jeannette Walls.  She had gotten it because she liked the first book, though this one (she says) is not as good as The Glass Castle.  I brought it home, knowing nothing else about it.

Before I left, her out-of-town husband called to remind her to send out their statements (he is in business for himself, and it's the last day of the month), so she asked me if I'd mind taking them out to her mailbox.  I had to inform her the mail had run hours earlier, while she was asleep.  She got a blank look on her face, knowing she shouldn't drive with the medicines she'd been given and the lack of sleep.  I "saved the day" again by volunteering to run by the Post Office on my way home.  (Tired of my convoluted tale yet?)

The rest of the story, now, involves driving to the Post Office nearest their house and realizing there was a used bookstore less than a block away.  Surely you knew there would be more books in this story, right?  I have been keeping an eye out for The Vagina Monologues for the Women Unbound challenge.

A actor friend of mine performed The Vagina Monologues recently, and I want to read the print version before I talk to her about it. And there it was, in the used book store near the Post Office.  Even better, it's the V-Day edition, about the grassroots initiative to stop violence against women.

"Books go in and out of my house on an almost daily basis," I told you a couple of weeks ago when I listed ten new arrivals. Yesterday I listed an additional eight that had showed up at my house. And today I brought home three more. Umm, do you suppose I may be slightly overdoing it? On the other hand, I wouldn't have had any of these books if my daughter(s) hadn't spent the night in the ER. (Is it just me? Or can other book lovers rationalize like this?)


Anonymous said...

I use the library almost exclusively.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I use the library extensively, but when I needed a book to read while stuck at my daughter's house, her bookshelves provided one I'm enjoying. On the other hand, I'm sure you find a bigger variety of books in the Los Angeles library system than I find available in Chattanooga. Too often, books I want to read (like on women's studies) are not in my library. To my surprise just now, I discovered The Vagina Monologues IS there.

CJ said...

Glass Castle is an amazing book. I had no idea she had another one. I'll have to look for it.

I'm glad your daughter is alright.


Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thanks, CJ. Me, too.