After rummaging around in some of the boxes crowding the garage a few weeks ago, looking for an old container of floppy disks with which to confuse my brother's highly capable class for his Microsoft project, my Dad stumbled across some remnants of bookcases past. I stood beside him as he combed through paperbacks, like the commemorative 1984 edition of George Orwell's 1984, or Robert Ludlum's entire Bourne collection, or what seemed like endless installments in Aaron Elkins' Gideon Oliver mystery series. The vast majority of the latter were all even signed, and all with different inscriptions (my Dad attempted to recall exactly at what sort of convention it was, that he must have accosted one of his favorite writers, begging for about 10 different books to be signed). Along with some Stephen King, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (the special movie-release edition), Robert M. Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and James A. Michener's Mexico, these books build the first tower of pages on my desk.
The next stack is the only one of the three which bears my signature: I picked them out, lovingly and carefully, of the enormous wonderland and book-fiend mecca that is Portland's Powell's City of Books. Stumbling blindly, overwhelmed by one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever laid eyes on, I snatched about eight books and a tee shirt out of the stacks, before almost collapsing in the checkout line, overcome with emotion (Just kidding. We hadn't had breakfast yet, and the dramatic episode was shortly remedied in the Zeus Cafe of the Crystal Hotel, Portland's extension of McMenamin's). Anyways, the mix of classics and new classics was accompanied by some books for my siblings: for the young bro, the Book of Perfectly Perilous Math (seriously, one of the best-loved presents I've ever given him), and for the second sister, one of my favorite books at her age: Scott Westerfield's So Yesterday (ditto). We returned to Washington with about thirty pounds of pages, and an equal amount of Voodoo Doughnuts.
|My father's stack lies to the left, while my own occupies the right. (Not pictured: Mrs. Dalloway, whom I have temporarily misplaced...)|
|Mom's stack. Not pictured: Mark of the Lion: A Jade del Cameron Mystery, by Suzanne Arruda. Ma's currently got that one, but I don't know for how much longer (she was complained that it read like a grown-up Nancy Drew. Once again, OUCH, Mom!).|
Let's get the summer started!