Thursday, December 22, 2016

Piles of books

People say they have a pile of books to read. I have more than one. I've photographed only two. What are missing are the pile beside my bed, the pile on my desk, the pile beside my chair in the studio and the pile in the storm porch that need to be returned to the library. The pile beside my bed is years old. It is the pile of non-fiction that I promised myself I would read once a month. I should be kind to myself and put these back on the shelves because it clearly isn't going to happen.

The pile on the desk and beside the chair are much shorter. They are directly studio related and when there is a lull, I tuck into these with a little glass of scotch and a sweet. They are usually sketching or gardening related and very, very soothing. So's the scotch.

This pile is of books I have spent money on or have been loaned. Every year my quilting bee gather for our Christmas blast and we exchange books. That is, we each bring books we have collected over the year, talk about them very briefly, splay them out on the floor and then wander among them, picking them up, choosing or rejecting them. We each go home with a different pile of books. Every so often, the books return at another get together and we all share around. After a year, the books have all more or less returned to their owner and we start again. This is a hugely popular event. Then we eat great food. This year it was a cheese fondu with bread and veg, followed by amazing butter tarts.

This pile of books is from the library. Sometimes I wander around the shelves and I can't find a darn thing. Other times, books seem to fall off the shelves into my arms. I like to have a stash of at least 5 books waiting for me to read, otherwise, in case there is a huge storm, I am restless. I could always read the pile of non-fiction upstairs, but that would be really traumatic.

This year's Christmas tree is something else. We asked for a skinny ugly tree because I like the way the garlands swing about. There were two un-groomed trees on the lot. This was the top of a 12 foot tree that they trimmed down for us. It is about 6 feet wide. We didn't have a wall big enough for it to go up against, so we put it in the middle of a three door passage way. We are all walking many extra steps to go around it. I love it though. The pile of books under the tree has been growing over the years. I would always buy Lucas and Phoebe a new picture books for Christmas, as well as a Christmas themed book for the family.

They have lost interest in this tradition. I find this a bit sad, because I love going through the children's picture books over the year and finding something special for each person. Steve bought me this new book, the Snow Knows by Jennifer McGrath, illustrated by Josee Bisaillon. It is really a beautiful depiction of animals and the snow covered forest. Last year's Christmas book is Dashing Through the Snow, a Canadian Jingle Bells by Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmerman. It is great fun.

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