If A Book Read Equaled A Passport Stamp, I Would Buy Passports In Bulk

This past weekend was spent with a group of some of my favorite people, who also happen to be part bookworm. We had our first bookclub sleepover and it was so fun. Our August book was Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Most everyone had the chance to read it and it was almost unanimously loved.

It was nice to know that we had more time to just sit and talk. The weather couldn’t have been better and we sat outside for most of Saturday. The food and drinks were delicious and my dear, sweet friend hosted us all at her beautiful lake house. We fittingly watched the movie Bookclub, some of us had seen it, others had not. All the way around that movie is the best, it makes me excited to be sixty. I just love Diane Keaton! Seriously, could the weekend have been any better?

After lots of coffee, blueberry muffins, sausage balls and more conversation, we all began to pack up our bags Sunday morning to head back to our various homes.

A few of us rode together and on the way back we were talking some more. I mentioned how, as much as I like to travel (referring to my recent vacation), I have found myself hating how much work it is to plan and actually go on a trip. Then, on top of all of the work that precedes a trip, there’s so much to do afterwards, not to mention the sad feeling that it’s over. And, insult to injury: we paid a bunch of money to do all of this! I find myself thinking more and more about the whole process and just how much I just don’t like it. Saying all this led my friend to say while we were driving home, “That’s the great thing about books, you don’t have to leave your home to go somewhere. And people who don’t read just don’t understand how true this really is.” These may have not been Jennifer’s exact words, because I wasn’t recording our conversation-but it was the gist. If you read this Jennifer, please correct me in the comments if you disagree 🙂

When I look at all of the books on my shelves, each one represents somewhere to go. I’ve spoke it this before and readers know this to be true, so I know I don’t have to convince you. There are more trips waiting to be taken sitting on bookshelves than I could ever manage out globetrotting this world. Something reading and taking physical trips do have in common is time. Just like going somewhere on a plane or in car takes hours, so does reading. Us readers value our precious reading time and look forward to it in many of the same ways someone preparing for a trip does.

I’ve always been somewhat of a homebody. This fact only becomes more concrete every year. Let me reiterate, I do like going places, but I like being at home just as much, if not more. Reading broadens the mind as you all know, and my mind is huge. I’m not talking smarts necessarily, but the size in reference to my imagination. If there’s a border to another place, I cross it without thought. If going back in time, or even to the future is on the agenda, I’m game-and most likely I have my pj’s or crappy stretched out yoga pants on. I don’t need a stamp on my passport (which I don’t have, but I do really plan to get) to sit in an outdoor cafe in Paris. I’ve been there my friends, at least in my mind, which is more vivid than any trip I have or ever will take. So take that to the bank, non-readers. You just don’t understand and maybe like the quote says, ” If you don’t like reading, you just haven’t found the right book.”

Sincerely,

tmc

PS. If you need me, I’ll either be in the 1950s suburbia, Seventh Heaven by Alice Hoffman or out west in Texas with some cowboys, Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

“People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.”

– Logan Pearsall Smith

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What’s In A Name?

What’s in a name?

What is the appeal of one name versus another? Sometimes there are several you may be tossing around. Maybe you say it out loud to hear how it sounds or ask a friend what they think of your choice.

I was thinking about the name of this blog, The Most Constant and how it came to be. In my introduction post I wrote a little about it and included the quote, which this blog is based upon,

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.

– Charles W. Eliot

This is one of my favorite book quotations. I had begun throwing around the idea of a book-based blog about six or eight months before I actually started one. One day I was walking my dog and I began thinking about this blog (that didn’t exist) and what I would name it. If I couldn’t think of a blog name, then what luck would I have in writing a whole blog post? Immediately the above Eliot quote came in to my head, I shortened it to my favorite part and added a ‘the’ : The Most Constant.

A few more months passed and my hypothetical name of my hypothetical blog began taking more shape. I threw around other potential names (to myself, because I wasn’t a hundred percent sure I even wanted to start one), but kept coming back to The Most Constant. So I filed it away and kept thinking.

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends. As you read their stories you learn and get to know characters just as you would someone new.

But the true beauty of a book as a friend is this: books are all-encompassing and all-accepting. They aren’t bothered if you highlight, underline, or dog-ear their pages. Their feelings aren’t hurt if you set them aside or decide to read on an e-reader. If you leave water rings from a glass or spill something- they don’t care. They are keepers of notes tucked between pages, they don’t get too hot or too cold. If you drop them on the floor, mid-sentence because you’ve fallen asleep, it’s ok. They don’t mind your tears and they aren’t bothered if they scare you. If they brighten your mood, great. If they piss you off because they suck, well that doesn’t bother them either. They are patient, quiet and just waiting to be cracked open and read.

As much as books don’t take on the negative qualities that we as humans can have, books can only truly be appreciated by us, (sometimes) crazy humans. Without us to see their value, they are little more than kindling for a fire.

We need each other. Together we are the heart and the soul. One cannot exist to its truest potential without the other. Even if you don’t read for pleasure, can you argue that books aren’t the backbone for learning about any and every subject out there? Let me just tell you-you can’t.

So this is a more complete history of how and why my blog name came to be. Names can be complicated and names can be easy. Over time the one you choose begins to stick and slowly, but surely it becomes yours.

Sincerely,

tmc

PS. I always close with a quote. While I love the above Eliot quote, the one below is my absolute favorite quote about books.

Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change, windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.

– Barbara Tuchman

Bookclub

I am part of a book club.

A group of us meet once a month to eat, drink, and discuss books. We’ve been getting together for several years now. Our group has grown, gotten smaller, almost stopped meeting, then sort-of re-vamped, and got bigger. As much as combining edibles, with read-ables and friend-ables is so much fun, sometimes there are bookclub nights that I just want to hang at home. The week has wore me down and I just want to hide out in my home. Occasionally my week has gotten the best of me and I do stay at home, but usually I end up going and I can say I am always, always glad that I went.

Last night was no exception. In fact, last night was great. For the most part, the book we were supposed to have read was kind of a disappointment. I didn’t get past chapter three. One of the girls had put book-darts by a few passages and even though she didn’t love the book, her marked passages sparked some great conversations, which led to some pretty funny tangent conversations. We were all laughing and just having such a good time. We were in a restaurant (we vary between our homes and restaurants) and I did notice a table or two around us, but really I was just enjoying our group as if we were the only ones there. We have our similarities and of course a love of books, but we also bring our differences as well. One of my favorite things related to our differences is the variety of book choices and recommendations. Since the formation of this club, I have read many books I otherwise would not have. Not because I would’ve turned my nose up, but simply because there are so many books out there. We vouch for books that we love, that make us laugh, or cry, or even scare us. We recognize the details that we know will also catch the eyes of each other. We remember the books our friends love and push them to the fronts of our lists that already have too many books on them.

I got home around ten last night and my house was silent. I slipped in to my pjs and though I was tired, stayed up a little longer to check out some of the books we had all talked about. After that, in the midst of a dark and quiet house I took a few minutes more and read before I also joined my family and went to sleep.

It’s nights like that that are among the good things in life.

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”

– Rainer Maria Rilke