In original bookshops, very interesting finds you’ll get. My favorite is a Mossad security history book, of which I can’t remember the name, in a Jewish bookshop off in the Marais.. Then again, what about those conflict analyses and terrorism books in the Shakespeare and Co? (Yes, THAT bookshop in Paris).. Or the record stores, where the vendor is suddenly more interested in my father’s huge Vinyl record collection and trying to sell me a record player. (“Because miss, it’s all the rage. CDs? Nah, that’s yesterday, miss. We don’t buy.”) True story, this happened in New York City, off Washington Square Park in SoHo.
Don’t worry about all the terror, geopolitics, and intelligence. That is my main line of interest, something I want to craft professionally as an analyst. I jot down the names and mark out which ones are worth the read, the study, interesting in the line of inquiries. But I end up buying fiction, a good policier or a historical novel. And right now, as I can’t go out except on a semi sunny balcony (as I hope you are doing too), I keep thinking about these little moments of pleasure.
Bookshops, books, and intellect.. You’ll see a lot of this. A friend broke out his entire small collection of political reads. Another, I think, is breaking out lists of books to read. You’ll either come out of this situation an extremist or a yogi (of which, I still don’t understand the meaning but I guess that’s what happens when you do too much yoga. I don’t do it at all so yay! me). Yet another friend must have cracked opened the cookbooks because he’s binge-posting his breakfast, his lunch, his supper, his snacks and his menu du jour on social media…. to the point where I am left wondering whether I stocked enough in my pantry. But I’m all right there.
As it happens, the reader in me did not prepare well…. I only bought two notebooks and a few pens to replenish my stock.
The typewriter has not gone out of business yet again.
But that’s where the questions come. I’m hearing a lot on social media.. about job searching and being unproductive.. It is weird. It is questionable. It might be done with good intentions. However, it is still weird to be told what to do and what not to do in that regard, during this bizarre (sunny) situation. And yet, the other half talks about the self care, the yoga, the meditation, the “go do those things around the house, which you couldn’t do before”, “occupy yourself”, read, spend time with family, don’t be lonely, don’t feel lonely, and the list goes on.
It’s too much. That’s what you might say. I agree. It’s too much. I, for one, am being unproductive (with job searching) and would rather go back to the bookshops. Not physically, but, in my mind, the idea of bookshops. My friend, Samantha, at the red cat chronicles, is compiling a reading list for after the quarantine. It does not sound much. And I helped a bit with French language titles. However, take it from me, making lists can go on for days. I’m a pro so, right now, I have a new ongoing shopping list for my next time out and documents from February on farmers’ markets in my neighborhood, which no longer pertain due to the situation.
And so, I set up a reading thread: a couple of books, many articles, and poetry from the archives. (See the latter at the Poetry Foundation.) But I’m dreaming of what I’ll next find at the bookshop, planning that trip when everything opens up again, maybe go live in a bookshop, because why not?
That and writing, writing, writing, writing. It does feel unproductive. But relaxing. Creative. Or meditative.
A sentence will do. Per day, mind you.
What’s your quarantine mood? Or quarantine routine?
#donotstress #relax #breathe #be creative
In the meantime come and read a fun little fic in French