If there’s one thing in this world that I’ve been smitten with permanently, from the very first second, it’s book stores. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been quite a compulsive bookworm. I can’t remember my very first specific trip to a book store but I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed that environment. When I was still living in Lindenhurst, I frequently went to the Barnes and Noble at one of the local shopping centers on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa, and the Borders at a shopping center on Route 11o in Farmingdale. Then when I lived in Wyoming, I spent a lot of time at one of the Barnes and Nobles in Wilkes Barre too. The one in the Hub was much easier to get to than the one on Main Street. I ended up absolutely desperately needing a discount card for each store because of my having always compulsively bought books there. Unfortunately Borders went bankrupt and closed down a few years ago. I’ve always considered it the best of book stores. It’s especially nice to know that each book stores now has a little concession stand in it where a customer can relax and get coffee or something to eat. The only catch is that they always seem to be Starbucks, a company I’ve never liked. For quite a while at the Wilkes Barre Barnes and Noble I went there, usually on Sundays, to check out their video department so I can get some interesting DVD’s. Besides that, though, I made sure I also got very many books. Having majored in literature, in college, I really like to make sure I pay very close attention when I go to a book store, in order to try to find any really interesting things to read. It’s hard to find obscure things in just any book store, even the very best of them. Borders always seemed to have the best selection of obscure reading material. One weekend, a few months ago, Mary Anne, Steve and I spent a couple of days in Manhattan. On the first day Mary Anne and Joel were at a meeting for quite a while. In order to keep busy I went to the nearby Barnes and Noble that’s affiliated with New York University. Because it’s a college book store I was quite favorably impressed with their selection. If I ever lived closer to there, I’d be at that store constantly. I’m also on the mailing lists of a few Catholic book publishers. That’s another way for me to keep aware of all sorts of obscure writers. Because of my educational discipline, and my interest in Catholicism and western culture, I have all sorts of interests and always try to find the collected works of quite a wide varieties of authors. It’s hard to track them down, though, in the average book store. Lately I often read things online. Right now I’m re reading Jane Austen’s “Mansfield Park” on a literature site. In a way it’s just as good as reading a real book but it’s just not the same. There’s nothing so interesting as being able to visit a real book store and to buy a real book.
Steve’s fiftieth birthday is tomorrow so my parents, Fran , Lisa & I went to Long Beach on Friday to attend his party. Fortunately there was only a little too much trouble with traffic in Douglaston on Friday & absolutely none whatsoever yesterday. Mary Anne, his mother, & the kids arranged a really nice time for one & all. His family, as well as friends of his & Mary Anne’s from work & their neighborhood were there. Jonathan & Maria were there too. They remembered me. Jonathan even said he remembered me because of my guitar & my lifelong obsession with John Lennon. One of the major disadvantages of a party like that is that I always make quite sure I eat & drink entirely too much for my own good. Mary Anne & Steve recently got a dog, a mixed~breed terrier named Sadie. It’s really nice & quiet. I have never liked animals but I don’t mind having it around because it’s so exceptionally well~behaved. It was abused by a previous owner. In certain ways Long Island has changed quite a bit since I lived there so it was very interesting for me to be able to check out all the new things that have been going on around there. The Sunrise Mall in Massapequa is under new management. The shopping center where Barnes & Noble & Tower Records once were is now entirely different. Mark & Laura were their with their kids. So were Frank & Tillie with their kids. I was especially happy to see Gary & Maria, & Larry & Rose & their son Eddie. Right before the party my parents & I, along with Larry & Rose, went over to Amityville to visit Aunt Norma. Maria showed up while we were there. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the Carmelite meeting, so I left a message with Barbara’s husband asking him to explain my circumstances. I also called Donna asking her to cover for me because I was supposed to lector at 4:00 Mass on Saturday.