Monday, May 26, 2008

Windfall Books

I suspect that many of us will see ourselves in what Rose Albano-Risso describes of her own book buying history in today's Manteca Bulletin, of which she is city editor. I know, personally, that I have converted many of life's little, unexpected windfalls into a stack of new books. Have you?

I don't remember exactly how my parents received the news when they found out I didn't go to my graduation formal event and that I bought a dictionary instead.

But through the years, I've done the same thing. Some people, like my sister, have wanderlust. I've always had a love affair with books - still do.

Monetary gifts received for birthdays, graduations, and other special occasions provided opportunities to purchase books in my constantly growing must-read list while making sure those acquisitions were annotated accordingly on the frontispiece as to what that book was in celebration of and who made its addition to my private library possible.
This Memorial Day weekend, I had an opportunity to hit Barnes and Noble in Fremont and add a few more to my reading pile without feeling guilty about whether I should have been utilizing my money for more basic necessities such as gas for my trusty old KIA. I picked up a copy of "Einstein: His Life and Universe" by Walter Isaacson, a book I've always wanted to get my hands on. Three Asian American studies paperbacks. Barack Obama's "Dreams From My Father" which I was curious to read since reading the Time magazine cover story about his enigmatic late mother. Eudora Welty's autobiography. And a light-hearted book about nuns just for simple entertainment.

From whom do I owe this recent book shopping spree? Uncle Sam's gift, if one can call it that. More commonly known as the economic stimulus check.
I love Rose's idea of noting in each book the details of the specific occasion and donor making its acquisition possible. It's a little late in life for me to start something like that but I do wish I had had the imagination to do it a long time back.


  1. Clever idea, noting time and place in the books like that.

  2. I think it's clever AND a great way to pick up books without creating any residual regrets about spending cash on them rather than on some other necessity.

  3. I have to admit that I rarely need a REASON to buy books...simply driving past the bookstore is reason enough for me. I buy little else, so I guess there could be worse addictions!

  4. I'm with you there, forby, but I'm always looking for a little "head game" that I can play with myself in order to lessen the guilt I sometimes feel for spending so much money on books. :-)