Feb 15, 2009

The Sunday Salon – This and That

The Sunday Salon.comHello Sunday Saloners (and non-Sunday Saloners too, of course). How was your reading week? Mine wasn’t bad, but I was hoping to get more reading done than I actually did. I had this past week off (and the next too), so ideally I’d have spent it reading to my heart’s content. But I’ll be moving house over the next couple of weeks, so part of my time had to be devoted to preparing to move. I’m also mentioning this so you know what’s going on if I disappear for a while in the near future. Hopefully I won’t, but I’m still not sure how long it will take to get the internet up and running at the new place. One thing I’ll be doing for sure is carrying box after box of books up the stairs. Wish me luck! At least the exercise will be good for me.

This week I finished East by Edith Pattou, which I’ll be reviewing along with Kailana later today, and Ratha’s Creature and Clan Ground by Clare Bell, which I’ll post about later in the week. I also started Peeps by Scott Westerfeld, and so far it’s SO good. It’s sci-fi and possibly horror, and it’s full of fascinating real scientific facts. Did you know about tremadota and what it does to snails? Toxoplasma? Dicrocoelium dendriticum and grass-climbing ants? I sure didn’t.

Another book I’ve been reading is The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee. Susan and I agreed to read it together and comment on the several essays as we go along. The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is a book about books, but in a different way than most. Buzbee is a bookseller, and judging by the first essay and the book description, he seems to write more about bookshops and books as physical objects, as well as the history of book selling and publishing, than specific titles. Which is fine by me, because I love those things too. I don’t have much to comment on yet. Susan said the first essay brought her great memories of her own years as a bookseller, but sadly my own brief time working at a bookstore was not a very happy one. So I’ll just leave you with three great passages:
When I walk into a bookstore, any bookstore, first thing in the morning, I’m flushed with a sense of hushed excitement.
I know that sense of hushed excitement so well.
This rainy afternoon my wife and daughter are out of the house, and I’ve got a few hours to kill. An odd phrase that, time to kill, when we almost always mean to bring back time, increase time, re-animate time, actually hold it more tightly. What better place to enjoy the stretched hours than a bookstore.
I had to smile when I read this passage...I was telling my friend Debi something along those lines just the other day.
The habit of book-snooping is, I admit, an annoying one, peering over the shoulder of the person on the bus, or at a café trying to decipher the cover of an open book someone’s busy reading. There’s no judgement in the titles I uncover, it’s mere curiosity, for the most part, with a bit of selfishness to it. I might find what I’m looking for in the arms of a passing pedestrian.
Haha, book-snooping. I must confess I have a tendency to do that. But I do it discreetly (I hope).

You can read some of Susan’s comments here.

And now for something completely different: Zacarias update!

He’s growing so fast. Have a great Sunday, everyone.


  1. oooowwwww..house move! I hope it goes well, especially with moving all of those books :o)

    'The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop' sounds absolutely exquisite - 'When I walk into a bookstore...[...]...I’m flushed with a sense of hushed excitement.' Sublime and oh so true! It's now on my wishlist (love the cover too), so thanks for pointing it out.

    I'm loving Zacarias the puppy too. It's the first time I've seen him. What a size he's got since those initial introductory pics you posted of him (which I've just looked at). It seems we're locked in a competition to discover who has the cutest puppy:


    I think we'll have to call it a draw Nymeth :o)
    Take care and happy reading

  2. I moved house in April. Out of 4000 odd books, I gave away 1500+. And I am still continueing giving away. At times, its not easy.

    East by Edith Pattou is another book (too many) I want to read!

    East by Edith Pattou

  3. I've got the Yellow Lighted Bookshop on my TBR. And I'm a book snooper, too- there's quite a number of books on my list that I discovered after seeing a fellow bus-rider reading them, remembering the titles to look up later.

  4. Good luck with your move. Ugh! It's so much work. Thanks for the picture of Zacarias - he's adorable.

  5. I got the Yellow Lighted Bookshop for Christmas this year, I hope to get to it soon! And I love the look of East, I look forward to your reviews.

  6. Zacarias is adorable!! :D Good luck with your move. I read A Yellow Lighted Bookshop last year and loved it!

  7. Love your puppy! Soooo cute! I had to laugh about the book snooping part - I am the world's biggest, most unrepentant book snoop! On the metro, in restaurants - if I can't see the title I ask the person and strike up a conversation. Nosy, that's me. That's why I love book blogging - it's socially acceptable book snooping! :-)

  8. Rob: Thanks for the good wishes! And yes, I do believe it's a draw...Steinbeck is adorable :D And I love that you called him that.

    Guatami: It really isn't easy. Fortunately the new place is only a couple of streets away, so travelling back and forth to carry all the books won't be a problem. Well, it will be a lot of work, but not impossible. I "only" have around 500, though...nothing like fellow book bloggers to make me feel normal :P

    Jeane: It's a good way to discover books, isn't it?

    Mariel, both are books I really think you'll enjoy :)

    Eva: Thanks! I remember your review - it was the reason why I added it to my wishlist :)

    Darla: hehe, social acceptable book snooping. I always want to say something if I see someone reading a book I really love or have been meaning to read...but I'm not good at starting conversations. Another advantage of blogging :P

  9. Good luck with your move, Nymeth! I've been curious about The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, so this post was very interesting to me. I am definitely a book snoop. I hope I do it discreetly, but I love seeing what people are reading! I can't believe how much your puppy has grown!

  10. Good luck with moving!

    Book snooping... I always did that when I commuted every day to go to university. One of my not-so-endearing habits.

  11. The habit of book-snooping is, I admit, an annoying one, peering over the shoulder of the person on the bus, or at a café trying to decipher the cover of an open book someone’s busy reading.

    I do this all the time, but especially on planes. It hasn't helped my social life.

    Gautami, you might enjoy an article by Bard College’s Luc Sante called "The Book Collection That Devoured My Life." It's fascinating.

  12. awww he's so big now!! but still very cute:)

    I so have to read that book about booksellers! I never heard about it!but I think I'll order it cause I love to compare experiences and maybe find things in common. I do that book-snooping as well, I'm always trying to understand what the person sitting next to me on the bus is reading! I remember when I was reading the last Harry Potter and there were at least 2 other people on the bus with me readin it as well:) I felt a part of something:P

  13. Oh I book snoop, too! And I outright ask lately. :)

    Good luck with the move. That's the one thing I hate about moving....moving the books! It can be really overwhelming! :)

    And of course your dog is too cute for words!

  14. Haha! I'm a major book-snoop. I try to be discreet but who knows. I always notice if people are reading in the train or wherever, even if I can't possibly know what they're reading because it's in Japanese. If I see someone reading in English though you can imagine how much I MUST see what it is they are reading! LOL.

    Zacarias is adorable! But he sure is growing like a weed.

    Good luck with the move!

  15. I'm definitely a booksnooper! That book sounds like so much fun.. I'll be waiting for your review.

    Happy box-o'-books carrying up the stairs! :)

  16. I am a booksnooper, too. Very curious about what other people are reading. Good luck with the move. I have moved lots of boxes of books in my lifetime and just remember. Don't make them too heavy. May make for more trips but easier on your back. I added Yellow Lighted Bookshop to my wishlist - sounds interesting.

  17. Zacarias is such a cutie!

    I loved all the creepy biology stuff in PEEPS. I really need to pick up the companion book one of these days.

  18. Yep, I'm a booksnooper too :)
    Good luck packing up all the books and stuff. I am still not quite recovered from our move last summer - haha...

  19. Ouch! Good luck with the move! We moved over the summer this year and it was definitely all the exercise I needed and more.

    If nothing else though, I found a couple of books that I was sure I had lost or loaned to some random stranger!

    Good luck and try not to disappear for too long!

  20. I actually didn't read too much this past week since we've been trying to get everything in order for the house we hope to buy but I did finish The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman last night. I cried!

    He is growing fast and he's still so cute!

  21. I always book snoop. I also do it in other people's houses. I just love to know what other people are reading.

    Good luck with the move! I'll be doing that myself in a few months; I'm half looking forward to it and half dreading all the effort it's going to be.

  22. Good luck with the move! I have to add the Yellow-Lighted Bookshop to my list. I am also a book-snoop, at work, in cafes and in people's houses. If I am visiting a home I haven't been to before I secretly check out all the bookshelves!

  23. Robin: I can't believe it either! They grow up so fast :) And I'm glad I'm not the only book snoop around here :P

    Alessandra, thanks! And personally I do find it endearing :P

    Loren Eaton: lol! I wonder if that'd explain my lack of a social life :P

    Valentina: I love that feeling! It's only happened to me once or twice, but yes, I do feel part of something and it's very nice.

    Amy: I wish I were brave enough to ask! I need to work on that :P And thanks! Moving books is definitely no fun.

    tanabata: lol, it's so good to see you're all just like me. And thanks!

    Claire: I'm loving the book so far :) And thank you!

    Robin, thank you for your advice! I'll definitely keep that in mind. I suffer from back pain and the last thing I need is to make it worse.

    Memory: He is :D And yes, now I really want to get The Last Days. At first I thought it'd be a direct sequel...but a companion book still sounds good.

    Iliana: you're scaring me :P There's just no way around it, I know: moving is stressful. Thanks for the good wishes!

    saveophelia: Thanks! I bet I'll find lots of lost books too...especially from my childhood. There are some I haven't seen in years. And I'll try my best!

    Ladytink: He is! And I cried too. Can't wait to read your thoughts on the book.

    Meghan: I always gravitate towards bookshelves in other people's houses. Fortunately they never seem to mind, and books are always a great topic of conversation! And thank you. I'm part excited and part dreading it too. I love the new place - it has lots of big windows and I love big windows - but I could do without all the stress.

    Gavin, thanks! And like I was telling Meghan, I'm exactly the same :P

  24. I'm a total book snoop, too. During break at work, on public transportation, and yes, like others, even when a guest at people's houses. If anyone leaves me alone for a second, they'll find me lurking by their bookshelves scoping out their collections.

    Good luck with the moving! Moving is a dreadful task - especially for the book lover (that many more really heavy boxes! LOL!). Anywho, hope it goes smoothly and that your books give you as good a physcial workout as a mental one. ;-)

  25. First: Oh, your pup is adorable!

    Second: I need to send a link to your blog to my mother-in-law. She would love it! (I mean that in a good way. I love my mother-in-law.)

    Third: I book snoop as well, in coffee shops and people's houses. I'm terrible. If you enjoy books about books as objects and the trade, you might enjoy Larry McMurtry's Books (if you haven't read it already, that is!).

    Good luck with your move!

  26. Good luck with your move! I hope it goes well.

  27. Nymeth, ditto everyone else's comments on good luck with the move. I didn't get a lot of reading done myself this week, but did finish an Agatha Christie mystery and started another book, The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor today. As for your thoughts on the bookshop book, it's interesting that you'd write about that in your Sunday Salon as that is about what I wrote in mine also, in a roundabout way. A bookshop is where I picked up the O'Connor book, given to me by the owner.

  28. Zacarias is so damn cute! I want him :p The Yellow Lighted bookshop sounds just perfect! Can't wait to get that one. And good luck with the move!! Make sure to soak in a hot tub to save your back when you're done!

  29. Good luck with your move, Nymeth! I hope everything goes well.

    Zacarias is adorable! He looks so big to me. :)

    PS: You'll have to update me re. your new address. :D

  30. I am into book-snooping too :)

    These are some really good passages Nymeth. I guess i'll be adding the book to my wishlist :)

    Good luck with the move!!!

  31. good luck with your move, and carrying all your books over ;o)
    Yellow-Lighted Bookshop sounds fun.
    I love books about books.
    awwwww Zacarias is too cute! he is getting big.

  32. Carrying books up and down some stairs? That sounds like my place! Good luck with all the moving! =)

    Your dog is absolutely beautiful.

    The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop has been on my wish list for the last two years. I'm going to have to buy it soon.

    Have a great week!

  33. Zacarias is so beautiful! Good luck with the move--I hope everything goes really smoothly. Is it a small move across town or something bigger?

  34. Megan: hehehe, same here. I just can't help the snooping. And thank you!

    Piscilla, thanks! I hope your mother-in-law does enjoy the blog :D I haven't read Larry McMurty yet, but I shall investigate. (I have now: ooh, Lonesome Dove. That's been on my wishlist for ages.)

    Alyce, thank you!

    Unfinishedperson, thanks for the good wishes. How nice of the bookstore owner to give you a book!

    Chris: Well you can't have him :P And I'll keep the hot tub advice in mind. I have a feeling I'll need it.

    Melody, thank you :) And I'll update everyone once I actually know what the address is :P It's nearby, but I still haven't memorized it.

    Violet and Naida, thanks for the good wishes! I hope you both enjoy the book if you go get it.

    Vasilly, thanks! Fortunately it's only one floor. You have a great week too :)

    Trish: Just a small move - the new place is only a few streets away. But it's bigger and nicer :)

  35. Book snooping! I'm guilty of that too but I'm too shy to ask the person what he/she is reading. I usually got 'the look' whenever I asked so I've learned my lesson...

  36. I'm here! I'm not on the chaise! I'm so sorry I'm late reading this.....but I loved what you wrote, and especially the pictures of Zacarias!!! He's so cute! I hope he likes your new house.

    I'm just posting now (Feb 23) on the book, so I'll link back here to yours. You picked one of the things I was going to write about ,the section on time....so well done! and we liked the same part too about the book-snooping, except I really do what Lewis says, I am curious to see if the book they are holding is one I'd like to read!!! lol as well as a little judging too....but more on that on my blog. :-D


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