This has been an interesting week coming off a beautiful relaxing away-from-it-all vacation to business catch-up, a little family drama, death of a favorite author to a full-blown panic attack. I seldom have panic attacks in fact probably wouldn’t know what they were unless someone I trust told me about them. I just called them anxious moments. Anyway, this one went full blown crazy and was all based, believe it or not, on books. Or more specifically the chance of not being able to get new books.
First it was just a weird dream sorta a nightmare but it kept echoing in my mind. I was wandering in a book store — the old Waldenbooks on Midway, now a beverage center (sigh) — where I had spent many memorable minutes and hours every week for about fifteen years. It was the first stand-alone chain bookstore I’d ever been in. Some of the staff members are still my friends. They made me feel at home in Texas, this new place I’d moved to from the East. They learned my name, my taste in books and even introduced me to new authors and books I’d never tried before. Judy and Jackie put aside books for me every week and even called me on Tuesdays when they got books in they thought I might like. I was a steady customer, buying about ten books per trip for me, and two each for the children. My husband would be dragged in on the weekend buying splurge and he’d pick up a tech magazine or book or one of those war books he liked so much. I’d drop in on the way home from work if I had a particularly bad day or a good one. I never missed a Tuesday or a weekend because you never knew what might be waiting for me.
So back to the dream. All the bookstores closed. Yup, it was terrible. I remember the day I went to the Waldenbooks and Judy told me they were closing at the end of January. It was horrible, a shock. But I wasn’t too concerned because there was a Borders and Barnes & Noble closer to my house now and there was always Amazon. So life would go on…right? I haven’t thought about that time in years and it’s sad to know because of this week’s events something happened to make me take the trip down my memory lane.
When I got the news that Edith Layton had passed away, I made a trip to my “storage books.” Not that far away, just a big room upstairs. I needed to spend time with an old friend. Layton was one of those marvelous Regency authors Judy had introduced me to in the 1980s when I moved to Texas. I had started reading Regencies when we lived in Germany and the Post Bookstore had them in stock. But they were not ones they carried too often so it was a hit or miss adventure in finding them and buying new ones. In Texas I started my collection of Regencies and now have an eight-foot tall bookcase (four stacked) of them. It was nice to know my old friends are still with me.
Today is a day I’ll blame on Marie Bostwick. She introduced me to a world set in the barnstorming days of the early 20th century midwest in her Fields of Gold and On Wings of The Morning. Because of her, I’m up at 4am to drive five hours to the last meeting of the biplane association in northern Oklahoma. Ah, the romance of the biplane: goggles and white scarves.
Until next time…
Get out there and READ a book…
Join us at Readers ‘n ‘ritas November 13-15, 2009!