Bookstravaganza 2014: In which our hero doesn’t pretend he’ll read more books than Dorothy


My ideal reading companion: Java, my parents’ dog. Also, because the Internet loves cute animals.

As I become more and more an adult, taking on more and more responsibilities and feeling as if I’m slipping softly and suddenly into my parents’ skins like heirloom fashions, I begin to crave solitude like a piece of rich, dark chocolate. Set it on my tongue and let it melt over me, let me just count the seconds with its bittersweet taste. My Friday nights are now best with a book and a bottle of wine. And what about Thursday night? And Wednesday? And Tuesday? All the nights back to the previous Friday? I bet I’d be better fans of those nights if they had books too.

That’s why I’m looking forward to this year’s Bookstravaganza more than any other year. I need an excuse to dedicate every spare moment to reading, to shirk social obligations, to flounce from one book to the next. I need those quiet moments of introspection that come from a great read. I need this:

“A good book, he had concluded, leaves you wanting to reread that book. A great book compels you to reread your soul.”
— Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
(Sidebar: This book won the Booker Prize this year, and had I been dedicating more time to reading this last month, I may have been able to finish it and collect more of its gems before the library called it back.)

I’m still searching for the book I want to tattoo on my skin. Maybe I’ll find it this year; Written on the Body came close.

I look forward to someone reading more books than Dorothy. I don’t believe it will be me this year. I’ve been a successful second–beat my own goal–but I soberly admit that I don’t think I’ll manage to read more books than her this year (Look at my modest goal compared to hers!). I know I will not read more books than Dorothy until her eyes rest comfortably in this cute, little wooden chest I carved and keep on my desk. (I etched a little heart into it, Dorothy, because I love you!)

Now that you’ve had that glimpse into my deranged mind–see, this is why I’m better away from people–I must mention that I also look forward to raising money for the Edmonton Public Library’s Welcome Baby program. I believe everyone should be given the tools they need to develop the same love of reading that I did as a child, and I believe the library’s goal of putting books into the hands of babies and their parents at the very beginning will help accomplish this. You should read more about Welcome Baby here.

I hope you will join us in donating to this important cause. And I hope you find your next great read in our posts.


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