Category Archives: books

Every Bookstore Should Have a Cat

Loganberry BooksEvery once in a while my husband the P-Dawg takes a Wednesday off to go fishing, but now that the weather is turning cold he is forced to spend time with me. (Click here for more information on how to ask your husband on a date). Today we were going to visit our old standby, the Cleveland Museum of Art, but decided at the last minute to switch things up and go to an independent bookstore instead.

We are both forty-one years old.

Regrettably, it had been several years since my last visit to Loganberry Books on Larchmere, and I’d forgotten how huge and wonderful it is. They have a really well curated selection of new and vintage books, a nice collection of local interest books and authors, an entire room dedicated to rare books and first editions, plus a cat. The place is a labyrinth of rooms with high ceilings, and almost every nook and cranny has a chair where you can park yourself to read.

Which I appreciate, because the last time I was at a Barnes and Noble all the chairs had mysteriously disappeared and I had to sit directly on the floor, a practice that my former Lithuanian folk dancing teacher may she rest in peace always said would give me (and anyone else who did it) hem-o-roids.

Being at Loganberry made me start feeling rather guilty about all those e-books I’d purchased and read on my Kindle. I am not opposed to electronic books or even Amazon (in fact I think both are magic), but I had to ask myself if it would kill me to walk into a brick and mortar bookshop every once in a while and throw down some money just to balance things out.

The answer is that it probably would not kill me, unless I drove there recklessly. I wanted to buy all the books at Loganberry to make up for four plus years of almost exclusive e-reading, but I narrowed my selection down to just three, plus a vintage map of Cleveland. The street I live on ain’t even on that map because it is new and utterly bereft of character, just like big box booksellers and Amazon dot com.

My husband the P-Dawg also loved the bookstore but was so paralyzed by the astounding selection of literature before him that he ultimately left empty-handed, even though he came very close to buying a book about trout fishing. I could have spent the rest of the day at Loganberry Books (and I bet they would have let me), but I had to leave because of extreme hunger.

If you live in the Cleveland area and you like to read, you must visit Loganberry Books! (And buy some of them.)

My Haul

My Haul

ex libris

I really wanted to buy this German book about the art of Ex Libris (book plate) printing, but it was in German. There were even several old bookplates stuck in the binding!

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Book Club: Better Than Therapy

I always wanted to be in a book club. I was complaining about it to my friend Lauren one day and she said, “Why don’t you start one.”

So we rounded up a handful of ladies and began meeting once a month. And I’m pleased to report that our book club is still going strong in its third season.

Here is how our meetings go:

We go around in a circle and everyone says how they felt about the book. The ladies are very diplomatic, so even when we read Billy Budd, Sailor, no one flat-out said, “I thought this book sucked. Who is Herman Melville? ” Instead we say things like, “There are things about this book that I really liked.”

Usually whoever is hosting has prepared some questions for discussion. At least, this is always my hope. I myself have an actual numbered list at hand, and after each question is addressed in the order it appears, I like to cross it off. Sometimes I’ll draw a little box next to each item and when I feel that it has been beaten to a pulp, I’ll go ahead and put a check in the box.

Not everyone does this.

We have a nice mix of personalities in our book club, which makes for lively discussion. We have a Philosopher, an Empathizer, a Quiet Introspectionist, a Pragmatist, a Wild Card and at least one Republican, as far as I know.

And we have good snacks. Usually wine, some nice bread and fine cheeses, fruit, a pastry, and crudités. My friend Lauren sometimes makes crêpes, which she serves with fruit, Nutella, and crème fraîche.

After we discuss the book for about an hour, we veer into extra-curricular discussion topics, like mortality, fitness, our children, Greg Mortenson (we are still very disappointed in Greg Mortensen and his Three Cups of Bull$hit), and last but not least, our husbands.

Boy, do we love talking about our husbands.  From my book club discussions I have learned the following universal truths about them:

A husband cannot read a wife’s mind. You would think that after ten plus years of marriage, this would be the case. But it is not.

A husband is blind to counter crumbs and toothpaste scum.

You have to remind a husband to get his haircut.

A husband will walk into the house and hang his coat on a chair in the kitchen, even though there is a hook with his name on it right there next to the garage door.

Some husbands, when they come home, like to lay their work clothes on the bed to “air them out.” What’s up with that?

A husband needs very specific directions. For example, if you ask a husband to get some sheets out of the dryer, the husband will not intrinsically know that he is supposed to turn around and put those sheets on the bed.

You don’t really want the husband to make the bed, because he’ll screw it up. No, what you want is for the husband to offer, so that you in turn could say with the faintest hint of martyrdom in your voice, “No, I’ll do it.”

It’s a good thing that during book club, our husbands are in the basement, watching the kids.

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