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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sun and Waves, Books and More Books

Nature handed northern Michigan a pleasant surprise yesterday, with sunshine all day instead of the forecast rain. The very brief downpour around five o’clock was enough to water the garden. Now this morning, sun again! What did we do to deserve this?

I spent several hours on Wednesday with bookstore helper and angel Bruce Balas, pricing and figuring out where to shelve a beautiful batch of “new” (old) Civil War books. A few of these items made it onto the Dog Ears webpage, but there are many more than those few in the store in our greatly expanded Civil War section. One book has the most wonderful bookplate I've ever seen:

The dog, the fireplace, the upright bass--nothing seems missing here. I wonder if the previous owner's private library and home were really as palatial as they look on the bookplate.

Finally, after a late lunch, Sarah’s wish came true: We left town behind for a walk (I stumbled, she ran) on the shore of Lake Michigan, the rocky, rocky beach of Peterson Park. I tried to keep my shoes dry while eye-combing the surfline for stones, but the water was not too cold for Sarah.

No time for the proprietor to kick back and read back at the busy bookstore! There were people there. Bruce and I conferred on the problem of the trade paperback section, already so crowded that the alphabetical system was breaking down into piles of books on top of each other. We decided that two shelves of humor books could move up to where the art section used to be, an area of underutilized shelf space. Bruce left. A young couple on bicycles arrived. A torrential downpour ensued! So it was after 5:30 when I got closed up, walked to the store, shopped and came home to make dinner.

Later, however, at home on the porch after dinner, before a pruning and planting session in the yard, I got back into Anne-Marie Oomen’s book for a while, and before falling asleep Vikram Seth entertained me in 1948 India. Up early, I picked up An American Map again this morning, and it’s possible there will be a few moments later on to steal into The Dogs of Bedlam Farm for a little while, but I am going to try very hard not to start another book before finishing at least one of these three. I have my list to consider, after all, and my rule is that a book cannot go onto the list until I reach THE END!

Speaking of the list now--this is embarrassing--I looked back and could not find Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli’s Dead Sleeping Shaman on it! A dreadful oversight—and you know I devoured that tale, stealing the time back in May, shirking bookstore and housework duties to escape to Leetsville, Michigan, and the life of fictional writer-sleuth Emily Kincaid. Please overlook the fact that it appears only now, out of order, on my Books Read 2010 list. Elizabeth will be at the bookstore tomorrow, though, and it would be good if I could come up with a fabulous explanation. Something involving flying monkeys, maybe?

Any suggestions for my list omission or any further suggestions for Up North identity categories (see yesterday's post) will be welcome today.


Deborah said...
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Deborah said...

Michigan is calling me! It is very hard to be sitting at a desk here in Illinois and viewing such beautiful Michigan scenes you have captured with your eye and camera. Bosco is longing for his time on the beach running with Sarah. I am looking at Sarah surrounded by water, sand and glorious rocks sparkling in the water. Oh how hard it is to be a Wannabee in Illinois on such a glorious Michigan day!

P. J. Grath said...

I know, Deborah. Many, many was the day I sat trapped in an office downstate, dreaming of being Up Here! Now I'm here but not on the beach very often--in the bookstore most days. Yesterday's outing with Sarah was lovely, thanks to bookstore angel Bruce.

Sarah and Kona had a romp in the yard last night. The day before, she came home to find a new dog friend, Diesel, available for fun. A dog's life is a pretty good one when it's Sarah's. We wish you and Bosco could be with us more often!

Anonymous said...

I love bookplates. It's too bad readers don't use them more often. That one is amazing in its detail.

P. J. Grath said...

I have a few old ones that came easily out of books, due to the glue having dried out. I should post pictures of them. One in particular is very colorful. But for detail, Amy, this is the best I've seen. Well, I'm biased, too, because there's a dog in the picture.