Thanks to N—-, I had a sizable gift certificate to the Concord Bookshop burning a hole in my pocket. The Concord Bookshop is my favorite bookstore, and I can’t think of anything more fun than having a guilt-free shopping trip there.
Monday was the day I got to use my gift certificate, and for the first time in years (more years than I can count), I didn’t make an immediate beeline for the children’s and young adult section at the back of the store. In fact, I realized that I had absolutely no interest in looking at books in either of those sections; I wanted and needed to avoid them for a change. One bad side effect of being a children’s librarian is that you need to read gobs of children’s and young adult books, and it becomes very hard to have enough time left to read grown-up books. And, for the first time in years, I think that I’m actually burnt-out on juvenile literature.
So here is what I ended up buying: two Agatha Christie books, The Mirror Crack’d From Side to Side and The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and a Philip Pullman book, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, A New English Version (which was shelved in the adult section). Admittedly, fairy tales are often viewed as children’s literature, but I like to remember that they were not always intended for just children; I’ll be reading Pullman’s versions of the tales from that perspective. And, admittedly, Agatha Christie’s books aren’t necessarily deep and challenging novels for adults, but oh how I do love them. Nothing like a good murder mystery to keep you company by the woodstove on a winter’s evening.
It’s been lovely reading these books the last few nights, knowing that I don’t have to read them, and that I can savor and enjoy them just because I want to. I’ll need to kick into gear this evening and reread Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon for tomorrow’s book group, but then I’ll move right back into one of my new purchases for a little study break before I dig into next week’s book group book. And I have a feeling that I’m entering a phase of obsessive reading of Agatha Christie…