I’m an Ambibibliophile

Okay, so I’m coining a phrase (I think) – ambibibliophile. Definition – a person who loves and collects books no matter what format – physical, digital, audio download, etc. An ambibibliophile is capable of reading a physical book one moment and switching to a Kindle, Nook, iPad, CD player, MP3 player, or some other device the next moment.

I love books. I love to read no matter what platform I’m using. There are millions of us out there, and our love of the book no matter the delivery method will survive the endless debates over physical versus digital. And no matter what, we – the consumer – wins. More books, more choices. What could be better?

Eating Autumn

Fall has, without a doubt, always been my favorite season.  There is nothing about this time of year that I don’t enjoy (oops, double negative – my bad).  Let me share with you all that autumn has to offer …

The changing colors of the leaves, from gorgeous greens to an abundance of oranges, reds, yellows, and browns.  There’s the way the crisp fallen leaves crunch happily under your feet.  Then, at least where I call home, the backdrop of the hills and mountains swathed in blankets of variegated hues of all of the shades of autumn.  Leaves, gently wafting downward in the cool breeze of fall, landing in the streams and creeks, the cold waters taking them on a journey as the sun glistens around them.

The smell of fireplaces – although I don’t own one, the minute I step outside I can tell if a neighbor is using theirs.  I envy them, cozying up in front of the fire with their family or friends, or maybe snuggling up with a good book (and I don’t care if it’s a hardcover, paperback, Kindle, Nook, iPad … whatever … just read!).

The cooler days, the crisper nights – the frost on the thin blades of grass in the morning that dance with droplets as the sun strikes and Buddy’s leash grazes over the top of the grass.  Bundling Buddy up in his sheepskin jacket to let him out – he’s such a cute little dachshund!

Setting the clocks back an hour – I always make good use of that extra hour doing whatever strikes my fancy.

Eating autumn – the Tastee Apple Caramel Apples, the pumpkin pie, eggnog ice cream (yum!), stews and chili and soups, and apple cider.  I overdose on caramel apples every year because they’re available for such a short time.  There’s nothing like the tangy sweet apple, the buttery caramel, and the chopped peanuts to let your taste buds enjoy the season too.  Oh, and let’s not forget about Girl Scout cookies!

Time, schedules, commitments – a lot got in the way this year of making it up to the Catoctins to take photos of fall.  I kind of regret that, but there isn’t a morning or afternoon when I’m driving between home and work where I’m not taking in the beauty around me.  This was a very colorful fall this year.  When I talked to Josh, he said the colors in Vermont were good too, but they’re starting to fade.  It’s that time.

Enjoy the colors, the scents, the tastes, and what’s next – the nearing of the holidays.

“My Reading Life” by Pat Conroy

"My Reading Life"

"My Reading Life"

I can’t say enough about audio books.  I finished Pat Conroy’s MY READING LIFE during my last trip to Vermont to pickup my son for the summer.  I have to hand it to Mr. Conroy – he piques interest in books I never thought I’d be interested in reading.  So what did I do the moment I got home from Vermont?  I ordered WAR AND PEACE for my Kindle.

They say that in order to be a writer one has to read.  I get it.  I totally get it.  When I saw MY READING LIFE setting in a hurt books bin at work, I picked it up and read the back of the box.  I immediately knew it was something I wanted to read.  I mean, if you’ve got someone like Pat Conroy (THE GREAT SANTINI, THE PRINCE OF TIDES, SOUTH OF BROAD, THE WATER IS WIDE, BEACH MUSIC – just to name some of his novels) recommending the great books he has personally read, how can you go wrong?  So what is on his list of “must reads” …

WAR AND PEACE, GONE WITH THE WIND, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Thomas Wolfe, James Dickey, and many more …

His story – his autobiography – and the way he tells it is amazing.  The people he met – Joan Baez, Michael Jackson – it’s a great list.  But what truly inspired me was his telling of his relationship with his English teacher.  I could fully relate to how a teacher can inspire and change a kid’s life.

I like his style.  He’s an extrovert who knows how to strike up a conversation no matter where he is.  Mr. Conroy is witty and charming, helpful when someone needs assistance, and apparently brutally honest when honesty is called for.  He’s a no-nonsense person.  I am grateful that he read his book instead of someone who wouldn’t have given it the nuance it needs.

If I can learn to write a small fraction as well as someone like Mr. Conroy does, and learn by reading some of the great novels of our time – well, I’ll be a happy person.

Thanks, Mr. Conroy.