Sunday, March 6, 2011

65-365 Late Night Dalliance

Yes, I know. I've got to stop with the teaser titles. I will. I promise.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I spent the day with a book. Here's the book and here's where I spent it. 

First, the setting: Salvaged hand-me-down bed frame, repainted and re-purposed by yours truly. Piles of pillows. Quilt -- hand pieced and hand stitched by my great grandmother. Cozy. Side table -- designed by Ivey Lane and built by my father. Glass of water and emery board near at hand. Note the stacks of books; yes, I'm currently reading (or re-reading) all of them. Box of tissues? It's Spring.

The book: Straight from my local library. There's no way I could afford my reading habit if I had to pay for all these books, not even in paperback. Not even on Kindle or Amazon. One of the many great things about our library system is not only do they have a branch within biking distance, conveniently located on the bike trail I ride, but I can also go on-line and request any book I want and they MAIL it to me, at no charge. They even include the return postage or I can just drop it off it at the local branch.

Vince had a gig last night so I curled up with one of my favorite "other men." In this case, Jack Reacher: 6'5", former Army MP, all around nomadic bad-ass. Or you could think of it as his alter ego -- Lee Child.I'm totally a slut for these guys like Reacher and Child. Characters like Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, Lucas Davenport, Virgil Flowers, Andy Dalziel, Patrick Kenzie, Harry Bosch, Alex Delaware and on and on. The authors Robert Crais, Jonathan Kellerman, Michael Connolly, David Baldacci, Dennis Lehane, John Sanford and on and on and on. I love to read and I especially love complicated, flawed, fallen heroes.  

I have a theory that lots of people, myself included, read in order to get the emotional thrills and intimate -- though imaginary -- connections they don't have in their real lives. I don't often read history or educational material for entertainment because that's a big part of what I do for a living. I'm not lacking in that part of my life. But in the visceral arena of excitement and lust and desire and adventure and all that goes with it, well, I'm pretty much your average middle aged woman. 

It's a nice substitute; and don't get me wrong, I have no desire to actually be shot at or, as in the case of Mr. Reacher's last adventure, possibly incinerated, but it sure as heck literally gets my heart racing. But books are, in fact, and escape from the mundane, just like movies and video games. And even reading anonymous blogs about other people's lives. It's an opportunity to simulate a more exciting life, filled with interesting people and events, and yes, a little potential danger, both physical and emotional. 

And that's the point isn't it? I don't want a life that I feel a desire to "escape" from. That needs "escapist" literature to get the blood racing. Like all things in moderation, my goal is to create a relatively seamless whole, that INCLUDES emotional and physical adventure -- people, places, events, activities. Not limited to sex or merely doing something for the sake of doing (like going to Mt. Rushmore to simply snap a photo and get back in your car then saying "you've been there"), but exploring, learning, experiencing, enriching.

But I did hop on-line the moment I finished "61 Hours" to request the next book by Lee Child about Jack Reacher's adventures. I think it'll arrive long before I figure out how to not be mundane.... and average.

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