Saturday, May 7, 2011

Look for One Book and Find Dozens More to Crave

Upon reading the descriptions of food in Oliver Twist in Literary Feasts: Inspired Eating from Classic Fiction by Sean Brand, I impatiently tore through the rest of the book and then rushed to my room to look for Oliver Twist. I thought I had a copy. I swear I did.

I plunged a hand through teetering stacks of books, to the boxes which contain more stable stacks and serve as makeshift bookshelves. I found Hard Times, Great Expectations, Bleak House. No Oliver Twist. I wanted to read Oliver Twist right away, still do, and moved on to nearby stacks, knocking down many books in the process and giving me cause to reorganize some of them. (I just went to the back door in the kitchen to open it for Tigger to come in from the patio, and on the way back to the computer, I sneezed from some of the dust in my room. It's not overwhelming, just a minor irritant.)

Books about Richard Nixon fell, and so did every single novel by Joseph Finder that I bought in the hope of reading all his works, having been so impressed with Paranoia. An accessible thriller writer is the best kind of writer for that genre and especially crucial when so little seems to be surprising anymore.

Amidst restacking the stacks, I still didn't find Oliver Twist. And there's no chance that it'll appear, because I just remembered that when I was at Barnes & Noble in Burbank late last year, looking to suck all the money out of the two gift cards I received, I went for Bleak House because of the miniseries that starred Gillian Anderson, and Hard Times and Great Expectations because I was curious about them. I looked over Oliver Twist, but decided on the others.

The Valencia library has three copies, at least of one edition, so I hope Meridith will let me check it out on her card, because mine's full and will remain full when I check out more books after returning what I need to return in order to get Dick Van Dyke's and Betty White's new books along with others, and I really want to read it today.

In the midst of the search, I found paperbacks of Playing for Pizza by John Grisham and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I had wanted to read more of Angelou's works a few months ago, and especially wanted to reread I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Sometimes I buy these books and then forget that I had bought them. What a happy instance of it!


  1. The smartest (yet dumbest) thing I have ever done is use the Kindle app on my phone. Because of this, if I have an "Oliver Twist" craving, I know I'm about 2 minutes away from fulfilling my literary craving.

    The downside to it, of course, is I've spent more money on books these past few months than I have in years. I am happy I'm reading more, but this has turned into a borderline crack addiction.

    If your phone has the ability, I'd check it out. But be warned. Like Lay's Potato Chips, you can't eat just one...

  2. First, my phone is so old that it could be considered rotary, as in rotary dialing. It barely has Internet access, and I like it that way.

    Secondly, never, never, never, never, NEVER!!! I love to handle books and I love the smell of them. Getting an mp3 player turned out to be a godsend because I don't have to cart around my CD collection to listen to anything, but I won't go that far. Ever.

    I satisfied my craving yesterday at the library. I went to the "Classics" section, pulled down a copy, had my sister check it out on her card for me (since mine's always at the 50-item limit, all books), and I have it to read after I finish "Tolstoy and the Purple Chair."