books + reading

#mind #heart #spirit #bookishness

For many years, I’ve had a secret goal: to pick up a book in a used bookstore (without any prior knowledge of the book or the author), to bbooksuy that book, and to read it.

A pretty simple task, no?  But a little difficult for me.  A long time ago, I got in the habit of reading books that were recommended to me.  Usually, I’d rely on the recommendations of good friends with similar tastes.  Sometimes I’d look to bestseller lists or librarian recommendations.  But never would I pick up and read a book just because it looked interesting.

This habit was triggered in part by my custom of always finishing any book I started.  (I have since abandoned this habit; life’s too short to read books that don’t enrapture you!)  Because I had this commitment to finishing all books, I wanted to have a high probability of the books I read being enjoyable and worthwhile.

While in Houston this weekend, my friend Girafton accompanied me on a little adventure.  I’d foolishly only packed one book for the weekend, which I started at the airport in Baltimore and finished during my flight to Houston.  (More on that book later!)  Girafton and I Uber’d to a used bookstore (Kaboom Books, so awesome!) north of downtown Houston, and as I looked through the available titles (thousabooks2nds!), I realized that this would be a perfect opportunity to achieve my longtime secret goal.

I picked up The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber.  I’m not sure what drew me to it originally – the cover is beautiful, a teal-turquoise color with a beautiful feather outlined in beige above the title.  And the plot summary on the back intrigued me – a thriller involving a possible lost work of Shakespeare.  I had two other books in my hand, but I really wanted to follow through with my secret goal, even if it made me nervous.  Coming Soon: my review of Gruber’s book – I’m already halfway done!

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