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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cold Enough to Crack Stones

No, not now, it isn’t. And it was not a record-breaking winter, either, in terms of cold or snowfall. But the most ordinary mild winter still leaves plenty of cracked stones behind, and as spring approaches, wind and rain conspire to keep a walker’s head down and eyes on the ground, which is the perfect way to spot Petoskey stones on the side of the road, far from the beach. Remember, at one time all of Leelanau County was underwater, so coral fossils can be found anywhere.

Some stones, albeit dry or dirty, exhibit a certain look that says, “Pick me up!” So you stop, pick it up and turn it over, and damp spots on the underside reveal what had been hidden when the stone was “face-down” in the dirt. You take it home and rinse it in clean water, and you feel happy. You have connected with ages past.

Now, quick: Why is a book cover like a stone on the ground?

My general advice to anyone contemplating book cover design is that the cover has to say, “Pick me up!” in a loud, clear voice. Then, when a browser opens the book in hand, what’s inside has to say, “Don’t put me down! Take me home!” In addition, one of the rewards of books can be connection to other worlds, far from us in time and space.

And so, because spring is on the way, on Wednesday (St. Patrick’s Eve) I got busy with general cleaning and rearranging at Dog Ears Books, my aim to have the whole place say, to anyone who comes in the door, “Slow down. Take your time. Explore. And pick up treasures to take home.”

As for my own reading, am still caught up in the essays of Camus and still falling asleep each night over The Tale of Genji, but it’s thrilling to get outdoors again, too, for longer and longer walks, as the last of the snow disappears from woods and fields. Back roads are great. Cross-country even better.


Gerry said...

Leelanau's a fine and welcoming place to go rockhounding or bookhounding! Where Rivers Change Direction arrived very quickly and I'm loving it. Please pat Sarah for me. (Miss Sadie asks to be remembered. The Cowboy is napping, secure in the knowledge that he will inevitably be remembered.)

Edmund said...

Looking good! Looking forward to seeing you and getting some books.--Ed

P. J. Grath said...

Love to the Cowboy from me, Gerry -- he is not forgotten! (We just let sleeping dogs lie, not because we fear being bitten but because, like babies, they look so sweet.) I am so happy that you are loving WHEN RIVERS CHANGE DIRECTION as much as I did. Hooray!

Ed, it's a cold day again today, and the cold will continue through next week, but the bookstore will be open Friday and Saturday and again next week Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thanks for visiting Books in Northport and leaving your calling card! :) I appreciate it.