Countdown to Christmas #3 (December 6th)
I read books. Most times i finish 'em. But often i don't. That's just the way it is. Sometimes I make it pretty far along and for some reason, some bright shiny thing distracts me say, or I forget to bring said book with me find myself with some down time and start something else only to find it more engrossing. So these 'once started' books find their way back to the bookcase after a short while, a short while where i tell myself every day that I will go back to them soon, that this momentary tryst with their rival is nothing at all, that's its their familiar and slightly tired pages I really want, etc. In any case, they find their way to the bookcase and sometimes take with them hidden jewels.
I'm a big fan of the unorthodox bookmark. Receipts, rave fliers, post-it notes, doodles, notes, souvenir concert tickets, old wallet-sized photos, birthday cards, I've used all of these and then some. So its always a surprise when I pick up a book i once started, flip through the pages and stumble upon an old familiar face that has nothing to do with the book in question. Sometimes the bookmark i find is very old friend, having led me through dozens of works or more only to be trapped greedily in the tepid clutches of an overdone 'masterpiece' like Love in the Time of Cholera (still haven't summoned the courage to return to that highfalutin mess) or just gets mired in something I really enjoy reading, just is too long or too clever for me to finish all in a row without dabbling into something else and getting distracted (like Borges' collected fictions or my Oxford World Classic King James Bible).
The other day Croftie picked up LitToC, read the first paragraph and grimmaced and nearly stuffed the novel back in its tidy grave in the bookcase before noticing a slight bump in the middle. She fluttered the pages and out fell a well worn flier from a canadian club, a place called the pub quartier latin in Montreal, a place i have no interest in going to but a place that saw fit to produce a flashy notecard sized add that subsequently accrued a wealth of memories for it saw me wade stoically through Moby Dick, helped me burn swiftly through Lolita and accompanied me on my Rendezvous with Rama. The flier is pockmarked and dog-eared, the glossy finished is gone in all but a few spots, a heavy creases line the lower right hand corner. Funny thing is... I remember making those deformations, or at least remember when they first occurred, sometimes far more than I remember the individual plot twists of the great works of literature that caused them. So weird what you remember. So strange what lingers and against all odds, returns and makes you smile.