Saturday, January 16, 2010

Recently traveling, currently reading

It may seem that I became quiet all of the sudden, but really I've been busy. A week ago, I flew to Washington, DC, for the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board. I had a poster accepted for a poster session, and was able to get approval to travel. The meeting was better than I expected, but DC in January was also much as I expected: too damn cold! There was some sun, yes, but the wind could be biting at times.

One neat thing was that my hotel was in Dupont Circle, and I visited both the bookstore and cafe areas of Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe (on different occasions, and DID NOT buy any books at Kramer's), and had a good time browsing in Second Story Books, where I confess I DID buy two used books. They were having a 20% off sale, so each of my five dollar books was only four dollars. One of them was a hardcover of Winter Trees by Sylvia Plath, which I'd borrowed from the library and read more than once in my youth, and am thrilled to have found at such a great price.

On my flight to DC last Saturday, I started reading The Children by Edith Wharton, as I'm scheduled to do a post for The Classics Circuit at the end of this month. I read four or five chapters on the plane, and enjoyed getting into the story. Then, I ended up not reading any more of it during my trip -- nor did I continue Vanity Fair on my iPod Touch, nor begin my next audiobook. The conference was good, but it took a lot out of me; I was getting to bed too late, and then rising early to attend sessions. I never had a long enough down time to focus on reading.

On the flight home, Edith was my companion once again, and I was glad to have her. (My other companion, the guy in the seat next to me, had an Amazon Kindle, and yes I asked him about it, and yes he told me how much he loves it. That was my first time seeing one in real life. Not bad!) I read some more before bed, and found it hard to put down, and even (I hate to admit it) skipped ahead to glance at the ending. I read some more on Friday evening, and plan to get ready for bed soon and read at least half an hour more before sleep. I am off work Monday, and looking forward to some extra reading time.

Today I got some overdue housecleaning done, kitchen and bathroom that badly needed my attention, and started a new audiobook: The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. Although my copy of the book is part of a "three-novels-in-one" edition, I think it will be fair to count this one for my RYOB Challenge. I'm already into the third hour of the audio, and I love it. I'll probably need to do some dusting tomorrow or Monday, so should be able to get through more of that this weekend as well as the Edith Wharton. Vanity Fair has not been abandoned, but merely set aside for now; I'll pick it up again after my post for The Classics Circuit is done.

It feels good to get back to my reading. Now I just need to get back on the treadmill! Thank heavens for three-day weekends.


Marie said...

Yay! for reading more and Yay! for getting a hardcover copy of Winter Trees!! And congrats on the poster session! Sounds like you had a good trip.

In reference to your other entry, I have been trying to "shop from my own shelves and closets" as well, trying not to buy as many books and clothes as I normally do. But it's not least fully... yet! I haven't been reading as much as I did when I was working in Concord, but I did go to several bookstores in Harvard Square on Saturday! And guess what? I DIDN'T BUY ANY BOOKS! I met up with my former LIS professor who was in town for ALA Midwinter and we went to bookstores and one of the Harvard Art Museums... He bought a ton of books! And because he was buying, I was tempted to buy, but I withheld! I bought clothes instead! :-P Oh well...

Good to hear your progress. I need to pick up my reading again. 'So much to learn and enjoy!! :-)

P.S. I finally learned how to take the T on my own! We have to meet up again when you're in town! ;-)

HeathMochaFrost said...

Hi Marie! Thanks for your comment. Yes, I'm so excited to finally have Winter Trees! :-D And I'm glad my conference is over -- still trying to get back into the swing of things ...

Congrats on visiting bookstores and not buying any books! It's hard to resist the temptation, especially when your shopping companion is REALLY shopping! I actually bought a new book over the weekend, the latest poetry collection from Louise Gluck. I had to, I had a coupon for an extra 15% off! ;-)

*Double* congrats for learning how to travel the T on your own! It's so freeing, to be able to get around without the stress of driving in that much traffic and finding a place to park, etc. A good public transportation system is a wonderful thing. :-) And yes, if/when I get back, we definitely have to get together again!!

Keep me updated on your reading progress and life in general, and hello to Mark. :-)