Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Coffee

Glorious, Glorious, Glorious
I'm sitting out on the little balcony of our new apartment, enjoying what has to be one of the most glorious days ever. If, for a moment, I can push away all the worries, troubles, and problems of the day, month, year, decade, I can experience pure bliss. Just for a moment. The sun is shining, it must be somewhere near seventy degrees, and there is very little humidity (rare here in coastal South Carolina). I'm finally catching up on my Google Reader, and seeing all the blog postings I've missed out on between moving and working. I just realized this morning that I only have two instructional days to prepare for this week (woot!) and one teacher work day. That means I'll have four days next week to try to organize the new apartment, catch up on planning and grading, and generally try to get my life into order. Glorious, glorious, glorious.

Books Do Furnish a Room
Today I hope to put in a couple of hours organizing and culling my book collection. It is very apparent that I still need to pack away a great many books to make this smaller living space truly livable. I really do love my books, and can happily spend hours perusing my own bookshelves. I love to be surrounded by books, and find libraries and bookstores restore my soul nearly as well as churches. Packing and unpacking during our move, I realized that I could open a store selling three things: books, pens, and notebooks. As my students would say, my pen and notebook collections are redunculous.

My Reading Life
I've gotten a surprising amount of reading done, despite the move and a busy time at school. As I sorted and packed books, I realized I have a huge collection of books of short stories, and I wondered why I don't spend more time reading them. So I've been reading stories: collections by Robin Black and Ann Hood (reviews coming this week) and a collection by Mary Lavin, an Irish writer. I've also been delving into fairy tales: my creative writing students are writing poems based on myths and fairy tales. I am one adult who has never ceased to be fascinated by fairy tales, some of the most powerful stories ever told (and retold).

Last week we had our big high-stakes testing, and I was a Test Administrator for two of the three testing days. This was a strangely grueling and extremely quiet task. The first test day I was in testing for two hours, and the second day I was TA testing lasted for three hours. Testing Administrators are not allowed to grade papers, talk (that does make sense!) or read during testing. I'm sure you all feel my pain: three hours in a quiet room, and not allowed to read? On Friday I made up for this by giving my students silent sustained reading time (I read along with my students); we went to the school library, and I picked up Gayle Forman's If I Stay, which I finished quickly (review coming soon).

Feelin' a Little Linky
Here are a few links I'd like to share with you this week:
Lisa over at Lit and Life has a feature called Fairy Tale Fridays. I've been enjoying reading her posts.Lisa is one of my most regular readers, and I really appreciate her comments. Even when I become a complete slacker at posting, reading, and commenting on other people's blogs, Lisa loyally reads my blog and leaves a comment just when I need one.

Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl posted today about a blog I'd never heard of: Read All Day. Nina Sankovitch suffered a terrible loss--the death of her sister--and decided, in her grief, to comfort herself with books. Now she has a memoir coming out, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair.

Allie at A Literary Odyssey has two read-alongs coming up: The Illiad in May, and The Idiot in May and June. I've already committed myself to The Idiot, the book that made me fall in love with Russian novels (way back in high school).

Gentle Readers
I know some readers of this blog might object to being called gentle, but thanks to all of you who have persisted with me over the last year and a half. I'm feeling my way as a reader, blogger, and writer, and I'm so grateful to those readers who have stuck with me, and continued to give me the comment love I crave (hate to admit that, but I do love your comments). Have a glorious day.


Sam (Tiny Library) said...

You sound happy :)

Luckily when I moved I up-sized (from a 2 bed flat to a 2 bed house, so slightly more room) and was able to take some books out of storage.

I could also open a stationery shop as well as a book-shop!

Lesa said...

I could surely open a junkstore! hahaha

I've never stopped loving fairytales either-- right now, I'm reading the Blue Fairy Book. It is the first in the Andrew Lang collection and I haven't read it in over 30 years. Not quite what I remembered.

3 quiet hours without a book-- that is torture! Our testing starts next week-- hope I don't get wrangled into monitoring.

Thanks for visiting Mrs. BG this week and I'm sorry for not commenting on your blog in a long time.

Enjoy the glory!!

Felicia said...

It's difficult to walk circles around the room and not sit and read while the kids are testing. Understandable but hard. My daughter is prepared for what she'll be reading when she's done with her test.Our high stakes testing (just had to use that!)starts in a couple of weeks. Since I'm resource I'm not sure who I'll be partnered with. Lots of prep going on. I'm worried about some of the kids I tutor. Some really try and some are oblivious.

Enjoy your day!

Anonymous said...

Have a good week. Mine will be short as well. We have Good Friday off. I'm hoping to get some reading in. I still have a lot of books in storage.

Rummanah Aasi said...

3 hrs of silence and not reading would also drive me crazy. I absolutely loved Forman's "If I Stay" and I look forward to reading your review.

Kate said...

Loving the thought of being out on the balcony - 70 degrees with little humidity. It's only in the 50's here, but we'll get there...

UGH. No reading during testing??? That's no fun. I had to proctor our MCAS exam a couple of years ago because the "core" teachers wanted their planning period. I wasn't prepared - no book - so I spent my time upgrading my wishlist by browsing amazon's recommendations. Fun times. I don't have to proctor now that I teach high school, though. Kind of nice - although I'm missing a chunk of kids in orchestra.

Hope your day is glorious as well. We're in the home stretch!!! :)

bibliophiliac said...

@Sam-my aim is to never have anything in storage. I've seen too many episodes of "Hoarding!"

bibliophiliac said...

@Lesa-Thanks for stopping by-it's always nice to see your comments ;). Testing seems to rule our lives more and more in education. In my school it just takes over our lives for three days.

bibliophiliac said...

@Felicia-believe me, I had some kids I was really worried about. The afternoon of the writing portion, my class came in and all the students were reassuring me "I wrote five paragraphs!"

bibliophiliac said...

@Kinna-enjoy your day off-hope your spend some of it reading...
@Rummanah-I thought If I Stay was excellent, and my students will love it.

bibliophiliac said...

@Kate-Hope your spring starts soon!

Jen (@ Jens Book Closet) said...

I don't mind being called "gentle" as long as its not my Hubby saying it. Coming from him, it's not much of a compliment, but more of a life status (TMI?). Anyway, I hope the move went well and that you aren't stressed with the mass that is organizing when one moves. Yes, I'm still in the closet, but I've branched on to a Kindle with an excellent book light, so it's not so bad *wink wink*. Hope you're doing well and that the new place is wonderful!

In the Closet With a Bibliophile

bibliophiliac said...

@Jen-little by little we are getting there. There are still lots of boxes and bags in one area, but there is lots of livable space now. And the dogs love it (very important)!