Friday, July 18, 2014

Nature, Literature, and a Happy New Year

I've written before about my yearly escape to regroup and regain my sanity.  I call this Rita New Year.  This year, I had my New Year in July.  It was almost relaxing, and I'm partially regrouped.  For all of my ability to be social, I prefer solitude or near solitude.  This is especially true when the scenery is so gorgeous and you have a (many) books to read.

Roses from my mother's former garden
Two years ago I was on the tip-top of this mountain, amazing.
The prairie...


I lasted two days into my trip before visiting a local bookstore; one of the best I've encountered.  The sometimes cool thing about South Dakota is that it exists in a time warp.  Therefore, there are still some awesome things available.  And, people hold onto things for a long time which means they are old and tend to be in fair condition, books included.  This bookstore had 10ft high oak shelves, which required the use of one of the little rolly step-stool things that good bookstores and libraries have.  There were also books stacked in front of the shelves 5-6 high, 4-5 deep.  It smelled like ink, paper, and dust, always promising.  If you've never purchased or checked out a book based on smell and/or touch alone, you've missed out.  Glossy pages, delicate smooth pages, just noticeably textured paper, rough heavyweight paper, crisp almost starchy pages...sigh, yes, tactile response in reading is important.  Sometimes there is a satisfying sound, shhhpt, when the pages turn.  Then there's the whole weight and balance of the book.  So seductive for inanimate objects; I'm totally in love with the written word.  I spent about 2 hours perusing the stacks.  I left (using great self-restraint) with only 11 books, almost one book per 10 minutes looking.  I didn't find any of the Kittredge Shakespeare editions from the '30s and '40s by Ginn and Company, unfortunately.  I'm ten away from a complete collection, but they are surprisingly hard to find, especially in the wild.  I'm always extra excited when I find one.  Excellent selection of '70s sci-fi/fantasy series though.  I'm set until August.  If only I could have stayed and read my books instead of coming back, so tempting I almost didn't.  Books and reading are such a part of my existence, it's like love and breath and dreams and happiness and peace in a little package just for me.  Luckily, they are also highly portable, and so I can continue to be drawn in and satisfied even after I've arrived back to hipsters and concrete.  Therein lies my sanity for the remainder of the year...

Removed from natural habitat.... in captivity...(after returning to the land of hipsters)

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