Dear Book Bloggers:
I was in town to interview some employees of a client the other day. Apparently, someone attempted to climb up one of the displays in the linen department (I've been known to do this after several martinis, but never before lunch), fell, and has filed suit. As we always say in this office, "God bless the man who sues our client." Every once in a while, we get a wacky one. Keeps one entertained. Anyway, as luck would have it, a book shop is located right next door to our client's store. I ducked in to order The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig so I could participate in Slaves of Golconda at the end of the month. I also walked out with Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. With just a few pages left in Barbara Pym's Excellent Women, I looked at my stack of TBRs last night and happily planned my reading for the weekend - once I got the house cleaned. I anticipate that I could read all of Half a Life by V. S. Naipaul by next Tuesday, and by then the Zweig should be in, and I'll have a couple of weeks to finish it. In the midst of all this plotting and planning, it dawned on me that most of the books that I'm looking forward to reading, or have recently finished, have been mentioned or recommended by book bloggers - that is, you (or y'all as we say). Had it not been for you, for instance, I would not have picked up Barbara Pym - I had not even heard of Barbara Pym before she was mentioned by one of you. How could that be? Or V.S. Naipaul. Or Stefan Zweig. Or Adam Thorpe. Where in the world have I been all this time? However, what I have experienced through reading book blogs goes much deeper than new ideas for my reading list. As I've said before, I am an enthusiastic reader; however, I am not an analytical one. I will meander my way through a book, and by the end, I will either like it or not. However, you see so much more. You see analogies and metaphors that would have escaped me. I wish I had your talent, or your insight. On top of it all, you write so well - sometimes with humor, sometimes with pathos - that I look forward to checking in with you to see what you have to say today. You say a lot, sometimes by saying very little. One of my mother's pet sayings has been, "If you are speaking, you are not learning." I find that even in my dotage, I am still a grateful listener, and an eager student. I hate to gush (I seldom gush), but thank you. You know who you are... if I could, I'd bake you all some chocolate chip cookies. With gratitude, Grad.