November 29, 2011


Some time ago, I wrote a post about finding a ticket in a library book with a list of mystery stories checked out by another patron. Being unfamiliar with the authors, I started to explore their work.This week, I’ve begun with Anne Purser’s Ivy Beasley series. Ivy is an old woman who lives in a retirement home and gives purpose to her inquisitive mind by becoming an amateur sleuth. It’s another cozy in the manner of Agatha Christie, the kind I read in bed before drifting off to sleep.I once tried to read stronger stuff like “The Exorcist” by William Peter Blatty but I know better now. Stories that horrific make me reluctant to turn off the bed lamp. Just as for everything there is a season so, too, there are books to read at different times of the day and for different reasons.

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Most of my difficult reading — and I confess there isn’t much of it any more – comes in the afternoon. After wallowing in my imagination all morning, a diet of thought and argument is called for. That’s when I’ll slog through books on finances and the economy, for example. Of these Michael Lewis is among my favorite writers. Or, I’ll inch worm through “Physics for the Rest of Us” by Roger S. Jones, a classic that tries to make string theory clear to those of us who might otherwise think it’s about macramé.

In the evening, when my eyelids grow heavy, I reach for my mystery and go to bed. And so I wend my way through the hours, not dictated by the clock, but by pages turned in a book. It’s not a bad way to live and sometimes I feel guilty.  I wish I had the power to abolish clocks for everyone.