My goal has been a book a month, and while some months seem to elapse without one, others are crammed in. Some are short, some are long (Harry Potter, and Roads to Oz), and there are variations.
So far, this year, I've pretty well made my goal, pretty much in chronological order starting in January:
- The Shack
- Lincoln on Leadership
- Landscapes of New Mexico
- Roads to Quoz
- Okeefe and Adams
- Good Omens
- A New Earth
- The Worst Hard Time
- Poems from Dry Creek
- Cezanne's Composition
- Turner to Cezanne
- The Dutch Italianates
- The Good War
- Teaching with the Brain in Mind
- Old Friend from Far Away
- Art and Fear
- The Rhino Ranch
- The Associate
- The Lost Symbol (to be finished soon)
Our bookshelves are full of books we've read and treasure...including stacks of them around the house on the brick hearth near the fireplace, in baskets in different rooms. My art books occupy two shelves in my studio. I've got a small collection of signed first editions, and all of Tony Hillerman and Harry Potter first editions. I carry The Art Spirit in my car so that I can just open it and read a little if I'm stalled somewhere or waiting on someone or something. Whitman is beside the bed--my textbook from long ago at Central State where I was an English major (before I repented).
My books are marked up too--with phrases and words underlined...good description, original thoughts, strong imagery. Like from The Cruelest Journey: "Our journeys choose us, not we them."
My wife reads more than I do...she has stacks of books by the bed on the table and floor that seem never-ending, as she reads several at once, usually every night before dozing off. She's got gobs of cookbooks scattered in kitchen cabinets, on top of the microwave and around the kitchen--the two most recent from Cafe Paschal in Santa Fe, and Low Country Cooking with 82 Queen in Charleston. When we go somewhere, we come home with cookbooks. We rarely read the same books.
It's no wonder we like bookstores, and especially McMurtry's Booked Up bookstore in Archer City, a half million used books in a town of 1,200--site of his Last Picture Show journey that ends five books later with this year's Rhino Ranch. We were there in March on spring break--coming back from a vacation in Fort Wort--and both came home with musty, delightful purchases. I drink my Sunday morning New York Times coffee from a mug I bought there, with the Booked Up logo, a pig standing on a book, on the side. And Susan demands the Book Review first.
Education is never complete, is it? Life ain't booked up, yet.