The End of Summer


Summer is starting to wind down and I am not particularly upset about it. We are all feeling a bit like the flower in the photo above; bedraggled and a bit rough around the edges. It has been a hot summer, a humid summer, a bit of a stressful summer. Now the heat has broken for a day or so, the leaves are the dull green that comes before the brilliant colors of autumn and my daughter goes back to school next week. It is time for new outfits, new notebooks, and alarms that go off at 5:45. That last item does not thrill me.

Not only does my daughter go back to school next week but when September first comes I go back to a busier schedule. There will be more days in Boston and fewer days at home reveling in my books--and revel I have. There is nothing quite like the kind of day where you finish one book and promptly turn to your shelves and pick up another. I highly recommend it as a way to escape the stresses of life.

A few weeks ago I read Browsings by Michael Dirda. This is the third book of his I have read and I have enjoyed them all. His reading taste is not always the same as mine, though he has a commendable admiration for Georgette Heyer, but his enthusiasm for books is something that is very familiar and a joy to read about. He describes his taste in books here and I completely agree.

I...am mainly interested in books published before I was born, largely by authors who are virtually forgotten. What I like to see on bookcase or steel shelves are lots of pre-World War II fiction, most of it looking just slightly better than shabby. 

My copy of the book is littered with sticky notes marking books I want to read and quotes I like. Here is one more quote. It is how he ends the book and I love it.

So let me stress, one last time, that the world is full of wonderful stories, heartbreakingly beautiful and witty poems, thrilling works of history, biography, and philosophy. They will make you laugh, or hug yourself with pleasure,or deepen your thinking, or move you as profoundly as any experience this side of a serious love affair. 
None of us, of course, will ever read all the books we'd like, but we can still make a stab at it. Why deny yourself all that pleasure? So look around tonight or this weekend, see what catches your fancy on the bookshelf, at the library, or in the bookstore. Maybe try something a little unusual, a little different. And then don't stop. Do it again, with a new book or an old author the following week. Go on--be bold, be insatiable, be restlessly, unashamedly promiscuous.  

 Summer is ending but we all know what that means. Next comes autumn with its cool evenings perfect for snuggling up on the couch with an afghan, a cup of tea, and a good book. So go ahead, "be bold, be insatiable, be restlessly, unashamedly promiscuous."

12 comments

  1. I am so looking forward to fall. We've had beautiful weather this week, and I could feel fall in the air.

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    1. We have had a few days like that but it is supposed to be 90-95 degrees again starting tomorrow. I am not thrilled.

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  2. It felt distinctly autumnal here a few days ago, then it got a bit warmer again, but not chilly yet. A 5.45 alarm is absolutely brutal, it's the middle of the night for me! That Michael Dirda book sounds very interesting.

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    1. It is brutal. The bus picks her up at 6:25 and school starts at 7:15. Why they think kids will be awake and ready to learn at that hour is a mystery to me.

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  3. A quote from Solitary Summer seems right " What a blessing it is to love books.Everybody must love something and I know of no objects of love that give such unfailing returns as books and a garden." You will enjoy a second read of this!

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    1. I love that quote! I will definitely read it again.

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  4. I've had enough of the heat and summer and looking forward to tea drinking weather:)

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  5. I've hardly been outside this summer because of the heat and the rain. For me, the deafening noise of cicadas means that summer is ending. They seem to get louder as the summer months roll past.

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    1. It has been the same for us--too hot and wet to do much. My daughter went back to school today and they had a shortened day because it was so hot.

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  6. I'm so excited that it's September because I have had the busiest summer I can ever remember having, and I'm so happy that fall is here and life can slow down a little!

    Also, fall is my favorite season here in VA. Usually I love winter best, but here winter is just cold and brown and boring, except for the occasional snowy day that melts quickly.

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    1. Fall is definitely my favorite season. My daughter loves winter and gets all excited every time it snows. I think it looks pretty but I hate driving in it. Grown-up life can dampen some of the joy of the seasons!

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