Notes from the Troposphere......

You'd think A Reader's Respite would learn: a suitcase only has a finite amount of space. And if that finite amount of space is already taken up with trifles like clothes and toiletries, it's probably not a good idea to visit a bookstore.

Nine books later, we ran up against the problem of physics.


stop laughing at me. i mean it. stop.

In the end, clothes had to be sacrificed to bring my new babies home. What books could possibly be worth all that trouble?

Well, we finally found a copy of Colleen McCullough's The First Man in Rome. Weighing in at a whopping 1,124 pages, this tome has been on our wishlist for over a year. (Hint to Mr. RR: next gift-giving occassion, check our Amazon Wishlist please...it's so much easier that way.) It's one of those books that we should have read a long time ago, but somehow never got around to it.



Now we're perfectly aware that this book will probably sit on our bookshelf for at least another year before we finally get around to actually reading it, but if you are a true book connesiuer then you realize that is not the point. The actual acquisition is the goal here.

Then for some crazy reason, we got it in our head that we've been committing a very serious historical fiction faux pas by neglecting author Bernard Cornwell. So when we saw all three of his Grail Quest series sitting there all pretty on the bookstore shelf....well, you see where this is going, don't you?





Then, of course, we felt we were unjustly ignoring the non-fiction section and that's just rude. Imagine our delight when we ran across a heretofore unread Howarth book. Some of you may know that David Howarth is a favorite of A Reader's Respite. He was one of the few historian/authors who could turn a perfectly dry, boring historical event into a fascinating, imminently readable story. The man was a genius.



As it turns out, Howarth wrote a book back in 1969 about the Battle of Trafalgar, so of course this little treasure just had to go in our shopping basket.

Now any sane traveler, assuming book shopping while over 3,000 miles away from home is in any way sane, would stop there. Not A Reader's Respite, though. Oh no, we were a woman possessed. Add to the above treasure trove:

  • two more of Susan Carroll's Cheney of Faire Isle series (not sure why, other than our Series OCD took over and demanded we round out this series)
  • a Jennifer Roberson novel called Lady of the Glen: A Novel of Scotland (again, no particular reason aside from feeling a little nostalgic about Scotland for no apparent reason), and
  • Tim O'Brien's award winning novel about the Vietnam War entitled The Things They Carried (getting a jump start on that War Through the Generations reading challenge)

and we found ourselves with a serious physics problem. That finite space thing again.


We're thinking that there must be a support group for people who can NOT control themselves in a bookstore.


28 comments:

  1. This is why we drive -- so we don't have to cram our books into the suitcase. We just squeeze them into various little corners of the car and, if necessary, leave a person behind.

    Oooooh, must have the Trafalgar book!

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  2. As someone who carted an entire suitcase of books 1500 miles (each way) on the train home for Christmas only to unwrap a Kindle on Christmas morning, I understand. Seriously, an e-reader will help with these urges. I still binge at the library, but my suitcase is much lighter!

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  3. Oh, me too! I always think I'm being rude if I don't visit nonfiction at a bookstore.

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  4. Ha! All the way through this I was wondering why you didn't just put the books (First Man In Rome included) in a separate hand bag or carry bag. I love books, but there's no way my clothes are going to suffer because of them:-)
    Great post!

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  5. awesome books, worth carrying them around. My poor husband carried a bag full of books 1 month before the wedding. He had asked me to give him clothes so that my luggage would be lighter :)

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  6. Them's some serious books girl! And I completely understand...it is the HAVING that is important, not when you actually get around to reading them.

    I just bought The Things They Carried on Kindle last weekend for Vietnam Challenge. It appears to be rather short, which is a good thing if you are buying books that have over a thousand pages!

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  7. There is a support group for people who can't control themselves in a bookstore, but it meets at the local bookstore, so the group has yet to have an entirely successful meeting.

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  8. Truer words were never spoken. It's all about the chase and the capture. I always end up with one more bag than I took with me cause I always manage to buy books when I am away.

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  9. Oh, how well I know this feeling! But I promise, THE THINGS THEY CARRIED will make all your packing issues worth it.

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  10. I would sacrifice clothes for books any day! It looks like you found some treasures.

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  11. you sound like me and my physics problems when I'm on vacation. Looks like you acquired some great historical fiction and that great Tim O'Brien book.

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  12. Always pack an empty bag in your suitcase. I think I have yet to have taken a trip that did not involve bringing home books.
    And you are SO right Sandy...it is all about the HAVING!

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  13. I read Nelson's Trafalgar by Roy Adkins and absolutely loved it! And I usually have no interest in naval battles. In fact, I wouldn't mind reading it again! I should get Howarth and compare.

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  14. LOL! I feel your pain. On my last trip via plane, my co-workers insisted on going to a bookstore. I walked out with five extra books, even though I had already brought three with me (for a two-day trip).

    For Christmas, we drove, which was a good thing, as I ended up buying another six books plus received three more for Christmas and had brought eight with me already! If you ever find that support group, let me know!

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  15. LOL!!! But what could you possibly have passed up???? All super books.

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  16. Let me know if you find that support group....I'll be needing a membership as well.....

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  17. No, no support group because then we couln't buy books and what is life without books?? Whether we read them or not, it is fun having them!!

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  18. Ha! That's why I got a Kindle ... well that and because my husband was getting tired of dislocating his shoulder every time he had to unpack my book bag when we went on a trip.... :-)

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  19. Books are always most important than clothes ... always.

    And yes .. the acquisition is the thing. We understand completely.

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  20. I guess I forgot to mention that I also have a Kindle in my suitcase.

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  21. I just made the same mistake on a recent trip to London. I ended up with suitcase, carry on AND coat pockets jammed with books and then...bought four more books at one of the airport gift shops before boarding the plane. There really should be a support group (or a special luggage allowance for bookaholics!).

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  22. LOL! I'm glad they didn't lose your luggage!

    The part about buying a book that will probably sit on the shelf for a year before you read it--that's so me right now. And yet I still can't resist ordering another book or two.

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  23. Isn't it ironic that THE THINGS THEY CARRIED was one of the books?!

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  24. FYI, all 2009 WWII Reading Challenge Participants; giveaway information can be found here:

    http://warthroughthegenerations.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/international-2009-wwii-reading-challenge-giveaways-revealed/

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  25. I'm so with you on this! My husband asks me whether I'm a reader or a collector. He just doesn't get it.

    When I go on vacation, I pack books first. Then I see how much space I have left and I figure how many outfits will fit in that space. LOL

    I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the Tim O'Brien book. I'm going to buy that one, too.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  26. Let us know when you find that support group so we can go. Or not ;-)

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  27. I just love this post! so much me here!!! In Chennai where books are half the price of Colombo I loaded up on (hold your breath) 42 books. It was worth the entire trip! Love book stores and as you say its the buying and getting it that gives you the thrill, reading it can take its time once its on "your" bookshelf!

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  28. If you find that support group, let me know cause I need to join!

    And I don't blame you one bit - those books all sound great!

    Enjoy!

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Fire away!