Yes, I’m reading more. I finished that silly mystery, Agatha Raisin and the Love from Hell, by M.C. Beaton, set in the Cotswolds. Not worth recommending, but I’m not going to put it in the reject pile either. I loved that Agatha Raisin, had so many rough edges, my favorite being her rudeness, or shall I say, her blatantly honest—no glossing over her truth telling.
Although reading one book at a time is a goal, it can’t be a hard and fast one for me. Some books are meant to be enjoyed, a little taste at a time. For example, take Let Evening Come, Reflections on Aging, by Mary C. Morrison. The very word ‘reflection’ in the title tells me this is not a speed-read book. And so I read and reflect, one journal section at a time, while also reading Caleb’s Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks, set on Martha’s Vineyard during the settling of the English Puritans in the 1660’s. Here, in an entirely different situation than Agatha Raisin’s, we have another woman living outside the box; in this case, Bethia, the minister’s daughter befriending a young Wampanaog.
As Nina Sankovitch tells us in Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, reading widely opens us to different ways of being, most of which will remain in our imagination; but a few of these book friends may just nudge us to try something new, and some may even burst forth from within us.
What does all this have to do with those of us who are looking for silence, solitude and simplicity and who sometimes like to be alone? Somehow it all feels especially comforting to sit alone in the Angel Room with the two books I’m currently reading on the table and with my ‘anticipation stack’ of future reads on the floor by my chair. Books are the perfect friend for people who love solitude. We are never lonely and yet we are alone in the best ever way.