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(c) 2009 Christiana Lambert, view of the main Denver Public Library building

This week would have been so much harder for me if it weren’t for libraries.

Such a quiet week here in the Lambert household, mostly because I’m the big talker around here and I’ve been down with a cold. Whine, whine, whine, right?

Guess I put so much energy into getting my spaces organized that my body—shocked—decided it had had enough.

And so, after a busy day on Tuesday when I had helped a new friend (insert sad face) with some of her own organizing, i.e. packing, in addition to doing my usual Tuesday activities, I went to bed knowing that I needed to take Wednesday easy—or else.

Which I did. Good thing I had behaved myself over the weekend and waited for my down-time. You see, when we ran into the library to read Consumer Reports prior to buying a washer, I found the fresh-off-the-presses book I had been waiting to read. But, this time, I made myself finish my organizing projects before I allowed myself to read more than a chapter or two. You see I am just that addicted to reading that I have to give my reading good solid boundaries, especially if the book itself is the kind most people—even non-addicts—can’t put down.

Wednesday morning, after I had slept longer than usual, my Kleenex box and I retreated to the big chair (along with my dogs, from time to time) to read Joshilyn Jackson’s a grown-up kind of pretty. For once, it really made sense that I keep reading throughout the day. I needed to slow down.

Which I don’t really do when I read. I Just. Have. To. Know. At least this is not a physically taxing obsession—unless I lose sleep reading. Still, I felt really disappointed when I had turned the last page of the book. Not only had I satisfied the curiosity over how the story might end, but also I still felt sick—except I no longer had something to distract me from my discomfort.

I am glad I am feeling better today, but now we’re having a huge snowstorm. Wouldn’t this be another great day to snuggle into my chair with a book? There is always an excuse to read, isn’t there?

This time I don’t have any unread fiction books at my ready, so it’s back to the salt mines for me—at least until tonight because we will be amusing ourselves with movies brought home from the library. Although my husband kept looking at websites this morning to see if his work was cancelled, he forgot to check his email. So even though he had to slog his vehicle back and forth through the blowing snows, he did get to run into the (still open) library while he was out.

Thank goodness public institutions still exist that can provide me with access to research—or allow me to take off on flights of fancy to get me through sickness, snows, and even gloom of night. Hooray for libraries!

(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert
Sherman says I’ve been on a reading binge since the kids graduated—almost two months ago (yikes—I’m afraid I’m going to have to get tough with them so our friends and family will receive notes of gratitude before they go off to college!) He’s probably right about the reading part, but at least I am behaving somewhat and sticking with library books.

I just ventured out in the heat (95 degrees—ugh!) to the library so the weekend wouldn’t find me without anything to read. I’ve been working through the list of books I compiled but later rejected for my book club meeting last December. So far the last two on the list remain check-free since they are still not available. On to Plan B—after all, there are always plenty of books that will capture my interest.

Our local library in Englewood only gets one copy of popular books, but sometimes, it’s easier to find that one copy than any of the twenty or more located in Denver’s various branches.

Yes, I scored Joshilyn Jackson’s Backseat Saints. Jackson has long belonged to Momwriters, a listserv where I count at least ten years of membership, even though most of the activity these days has morphed to Facebook and other venues. She demonstrates the same great use of voice in e-mail messages and blog posts as she does in her novels—although she has to keep explaining to readers that she is not the same person as her characters—just because they might do something such as kill someone, doesn’t mean she would do the same. Anyway, I’m afraid to pick up that book because then my family is going to accuse me of ignoring them and I will be guilty as charged.

But, one book never feels like enough to me. I go to the library for a particular book and pretty soon I’m walking the stacks, judging books by their covers until I feel compelled to grab a book off the shelf. Then after reading the book’s cover copy I decide whether I’ll just have to see if the book is as good to read as the cover makes me think.

So today I picked up a few, based on their titles, but ultimately rejected them. Finally, the cover copy seemed to match well with a title and I settled on a debut novel, Balancing Acts, by Zoe Fishman about yoga and friendship.

Two books should have been enough, but wait, I saw another title I liked.

As soon as I seized When She Flew, I knew I was going to have to take it home with me. You see, the author, Jennie Shortridge used to live in Colorado and still has family here. Once I heard her speak to my writing group, Colorado Authors’ League, and later decided to see if she would be in town any time around when I was hosting book club. She would, so Shortridge brought her sister with her to our meeting and shared our potluck food (including a creation straight out of her book!) a lot of great insights about Eating Heaven, which is still my favorite book of hers—unless the newest book will convince me otherwise.

So, where to begin? I don’t know, but I feel a little like Eleanor, the food writer protagonist in Eating Heaven. She had a bit of an eating addiction and, boy, could I almost taste her anticipation as she gathered the ingredients and then put her ideas into practice. Eleanor savored new food creations just as much as I savor reading a new book—or two or three.

I’m afraid this will not be the weekend my reading binge ends. Bon appétit, no?

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