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Monday, July 9, 2012

Take Time, Find Treasure

1973 El Dog w/ 501 cu. in. engine

David and Sarah and I went to Northport in style on Sunday morning, where David and I had breakfast at the North End on Mill Street, outdoors on the back patio. After breakfast I took Sarah for a stroll around town. 

We do not have magnificent mountain ranges in Leelanau County or monuments dating back to the Middle Ages, but anyone who takes the time to look carefully will find sights worth seeing, such as these pretty little spots in Northport.

Rustic sign for a one-of-a-kind B&B

Northport Creek winding to Grand Traverse Bay
Paperback classics, used
And that’s how I feel (are you surprised?) about the books in my bookstore, too. I don’t have a Gutenberg Bible, and I may not have the latest bestseller you want the minute you walk in the door (I’ll gladly order whatever it), but there are so many possibilities that sometimes it makes my head spin! There are books for every budget and for almost every taste and field of interest--so much variety that anyone who leaves empty-handed probably did not really want a book in the first place. 

A variety of treasure awaits, from brand-new... very old,

from special bindings... paperback books for the beach.

July marks our 19-year anniversary, making this the 20th summer of Dog Ears Books. Hard to believe. We're now just up the block from our modest 1993 beginnings, but we've come a very long way.

As for me, I’ve been reading further in Teresa Scollon’s wonderful book of poetry, To Embroider the Ground with Prayer, and continue to be impressed and moved by her work. Many people tell me they “don’t get” or “can’t understand” poetry, and I have two responses: (1) Poetry is best appreciated, in my opinion, if a reader or listener begins with total immersion, rather than trying to analyze or attach symbolic meaning to each word or every line. (2) Maybe you’ve been reading the wrong poetry? Good poetry does not have to be incomprehensible. Sometimes it may be difficult, but not even always that. Stop in and try a poem with me: I promise I won't let you drown.

I also started reading Moby-Dick for one of my reading groups. It was our first selection for the coming year, and we'll begin discussion in September, but it seems I couldn’t wait. Marvelous early chapters! I was prepared to slog dutifully through this tome but am turning pages with a glad heart. Of course, that could change when I hit the technical chapters on whaling....

A couple of notes to this week’s Northport calendar:

Featured book for Thursday, July 12, author visit

(1)       Bill O. Smith, author of the illustrated children’s book, Chickadees at Night, will be at Dog Ears Books on Thursday, July 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those with discerning minds no doubt already figured out that Thursday is the 12th and not the 11th as I had it in my calendar column. (Bill and I had been playing around with dates....) Anyway, it’s this coming Thursday! Children, parents, grandparents, bird-lovers and everyone else, welcome!

(2)       The first event in the summer author series at Leelanau Township Library, featuring Stephanie Mills, scheduled for Tuesday, July 10, has been cancelled. Friends of the Library decided not to substitute anyone at this late date but to begin on July 17.

See you on Thursday? Or before! It's summer, our 7-day-a-week time of year!

Sarah sometimes catches a snooze on the job.


Dawn said...

You're convincing me to try poetry...and I agree, books are beautiful. I used to photograph library shelves. And awwwww...Sarah-girl that looks like the perfect spot for a chair.

P. J. Grath said...

Dawn, if I can try MOBY-DICK again, my high school senior year NEMESIS (and undoing), you can give poetry another whirl. There really is some good stuff amid the dreck.

Isn't Sarah a riot? Why do we think every little unconscious thing she does is so amusing and so darned adorable?1

Bettie said...

Books and dogs are a great combination!

Thanks for the photos of your discoveries. We never know what to expect, but if we keep our eyes open, often find unexpected beauty in everyday places.

the littlest sister

P. J. Grath said...

Hi, Bettie! Nice to see you here! Reminds me to say that the theme of this year's Northport Dog Parade (Aug. 11) is "Old Un-Salty Dog."