Friday, January 29, 2010

Reading Is My Darling Pleasure

Zipped out of the laundromat during the wash cycle to go to my PO box, then to the library to pick up two books being held for me. I had to walk around a library clerk who was putting more books on the hold shelves. "You guys make me very happy," I told her. After checking the books out I detoured back past her to add, "Every day."

There is actually a sufficiency of desirable mysteries in the house, at least seven; a rare occurence. Partly they accumulated because I've been grinding along for days on one of the Newbery honor books, Jacqueline Kelly's The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, which is very nice in a stately, didactic sort of way: one of those books the Newbery committee loves, but it's not exactly compelling me to stop twittering and get back to the book (and probably won't compel the readers in its intended audience either); and also being determined to finally finish Willard Bascom's Waves and Beaches, which I've been happily reexaming the photograph sections of, and nibbling on seductive chapters about surf and sand in various little bits, for weeks— but am now finally reading end to end. What a delight. In between chapters with technical stuff to overlook and diagrams be baffled by, there he is: sixty years ago, the passionate young scientist, gaily driving dukw transects through wild winter waters on our outer coast (image of Mr. Bascom in the truck-boat; it's from the book). "Somehow, in innocence and ignorance, I was persuaded that 15-foot breakers smashing down on a 32-foot tin boat were nothing to be disturbed about."

As soon as I'm done with Bascom I'm going to see if I can make any headway in one of the two used oceanography texts I bought if I use the same technique: ignoring any math and skipping anything I don't understand. Might read two or three mysteries first. And right away, have to rummage up that Bobbie Louise Hawkins quote whence I took my title above: it's from the opening chapter of Back to Texas, which ends, "...what I really want to mention, and it took me until yesterday to get it into the air, is that all that time, and right from the first, reading was my darling pleasure."

1 comment:

Sky said...

that you perform your work, volunteer, visit the ocean almost daily, take photographs, research the ships in your local waters, blog, twitter, count marine life and birds, read prolifically, manage your life and chores, stay in touch with friends, entertain, and fly around the country as often as you do makes me dizzy! you never seem to tire. i wish you could bottle up your metabolism and energy and sell me a few containers! ;))