01 August 2012

Browse

Blue Bicycle Book Shop, King St., Charleston, S.C.
The folks at Blue Bicycle Book Store on King St. like to leave messages in their window and the eye- catching blue bicycle with a stack of books parked on the sidewalk. This week's message is "Browse".

I used to be such a book worm. I went to sleep with a book on my pillow and woke up to continue where I left off. Sometimes I dreamed onwards from where I nodded off and woke up the next morning startled to find the story took a different direction.

My mother was a reader and read endlessly to us. She'd try to get a few quiet moments to herself in what seemed like the middle of the night but we'd hear the clicking of her typewriter in the snug kitchen and one after another we'd sneak out of bed, draped in shawls and blankets to huddle by the coal stove and insist on another chapter. With eight kids she couldn't even get that time to herself. Heheh. One more chapter, one more chapter. We'd all sniffle quietly at the sad parts. She read all the classics to us and enjoyed reading in Scottish dialect when called for.

I lost my reading habit when I got a laptop. Now I don't know how to pace myself with a book. If I start to read I can't stop. I read straight through until I am finished and find myself wide awake at 3 a.m. One more chapter, one more chapter.

18 comments:

  1. Joan, that is a wonderful story of your mother. What was she writing on her typewriter?

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  2. She typed long letters back to Canada. This was when we lived in India. She typed on thin blue paper with a black carbon copy. My aunt still has many of them. She never saw her father again since he passed away while we were so far away but she kept in touch regularly updating them on all our adventures.

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  3. That shop has a great collection of used books. I don't think I'll ever drop the habit of having my nose in a book. (that's quite a literal image, isn't it?) You mother was a woman of great imagination and great patience .

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    1. She must have had great patience. You don't know those things when you are the child. Thinking back on it I would have gone nuts if I got up in the night for a few moments to myself and was swarmed by kids :)

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  4. Ahh, the lost art of letter writing. Lovely story Joan and what a beautiful memory it must be for you. <3

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    1. And Aerograms. Remember them? Thin blue paper folded mysteriously.

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  5. just love this post and appreciate your answer about what your mom was typing. did you know the blue bicycle has a signed copy of to kill a mockingbird?

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  6. Totally love this post! I always have a stack of books nearby....they make me happy!

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    1. I got rid of so many when I moved. Now I am rather sad about it.

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    2. I did the same thing not too long ago... I thought I would pass them on, packed up a big box and recently went to find one that I started but never finished... gone... ugh, WHAT HAVE I DONE? ha ha... I love living so close to the library, it's the best!

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  7. Ashley7:42 PM

    Loving this post!! I'm such a bookworm myself; my brother is as well. Which is odd considering our mother hates to read!

    Books are a continual best friend that will never leave you! I love how you describe your memory ... Amazing!

    And a store I will have to add to my list :)

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    1. We seemed to alternate - one kid was a reader, one not, next one was....odd.

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  8. I used to read all my library books before I got home from school the same day... I got in trouble for staying up and reading by the light of my night-light (YOU'LL RUIN YOUR EYESIGHT!!!)... and now it's hard for me to get through a single novel. Partially because I've grown very picky as I've gotten older. Stupid writing makes me angry, vapid characters and limp plotlines just aren't worth the effort it takes to turn the page. One surprise novel that completely captured me was "The Lantern" by Deborah Lawrenson. Very, very enjoyable. Give it a go!

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    1. I agree...bad writing makes me feel like I might as well just be flicking around online.

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  9. If you've never read T. Coraghessan Boyle, his very fat book "T.C. Boyle Stories" is a great way to start. It's a collection of many, many short stories he has written. I'm reading it now and enjoying every story.

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    1. I might do better with short stories for now. Thanks for the lead!

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