Friday, May 21, 2004

A Good Day to Read a Book

What is it about rainy days that makes a person want to curl up with a book? Even non-bookish people I know comment on days like today, "It's a good day to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate." Since I live in Minneapolis I also have the joy of winter. On the coldest and gloomiest days when the sky is low and the flakes are starting to fall and the forecast is predicting 8-12 inches, I want my boss to call and say "Don't come in." Then I imagine myself in thick socks, old baggy sweater and my favorite sweat pants, a hot cup of cocoa on the table beside me, a thick book with an exciting plot, a comfortable chair and an entire uninterrupted day before me in which to read. And today, when it's rain and not snow and I only worked until noon, there is that deep yearning which draws me and a book to a chair. Sunny days don't bring out the urge. I think it's the bad weather days that do because then there is an excuse for "just reading." There is no reason to go outside. My inner child doesn't worry about Mom demanding I get my nose out of the book and my butt off the chair and go out side and play. I don't feel guilty for not weeding the garden or neglecting the dog's walk. I can make excuses for not doing errands and sometimes the people on the TV tell me to not go out unless absolutely necessary. Days like today are a gift from the universe. A Splendor of Letters by Nicholas Basbanes is reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement this week. The reviewer seems to have thought better of it than I did.