Okay, so if this isn't a sign from the book gods that I must read this book, then nothing is.
Scene one: Last week I was looking for Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins after a friend recommended it to me. The online catalog claimed it was available and could found at PS3553 O47478 S25 2002, so off I went to pull it. Find the right spot, scan the shelves, peruse the row of books by Collins my library owns, but alas, no Sailing Alone. Disappointment sets in, but someone else must be looking at it or it has simply disappeared to wherever lost library books disappear to.
Scene two: Yesterday I was looking at the books we own by Ivan Doig after he was recommended by another friend (I really like recommendations as you can see and love browsing library shelves as you will soon attest). Once again, scan shelves, spot Doig's books--he's at PS3554 by the way--and what spine do I see sitting there nestled amongst the other American authors, 1961-2000? Billy Collins. Billy Collins? What's he doing here in the D's? Is this a book about Billy Collins maybe? Closer glance. It's Sailing Alone Around the Room!
How's that for luck or serendipity or whatever you want to call it. PS3553 and PS3554 sound like they are close together, but trust me, they are not. Several ranges separate them as well as an aisle cutting the ranges in two. To have found the one book I was looking for just last week, and by chance--right there, smack where I was expecting to find something else is pretty cool. Once a book has been misshelved it can be a serious quest to find it again. And this time, I wasn't even trying!
So, here it is at home with me. I am not a good poetry reader. Actually I am not a poetry reader at all I am sorry to say, but I want to try and read at least one or two collections this year. I have a few other poets in mind that I want to try. First Billy Collins. More about him soon!
I have a few other interesting library finds to share, too, since I am on a roll. I've been checking out lots of library books lately.
Poetry. Highbrow. Here's is something that looks decidedly lowbrow. Saucy and gossipy and something I don't think I would ever have gone in search for, but as it just crossed my desk at work yesterday as well, I gave in to temptation. I'd heard of it, but I have never looked at it. I must be in the minority as this copy is actually a replacement for a much used and battered copy the library had to discard. Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon. I'm not really all that interested in Hollywood, but this is the scandalous version of early Hollywood. It contains some shamefully lurid photos, which sets a tone needless to say. I was thinking this might be a good gym/workout book and I am all for making my workouts go by quickly.
I mentioned the 'Best of . . ." books yesterday, and more serendipity as one showed up on the hold shelf (is it very indulgent to bring home three books from the library where I work and then go to the public library and bring home half a dozen more? Probably, but I have so few guilty pleasures that I think I am allowed this one . . . ). I have never tried The Best American Nonrequired Reading before. A quick glance at the introduction--is this the last one? Typical, I finally discover something just as it is ending. I'm intrigued as it looks like all the essays, stories, articles, etc. were chosen by high school students, which is pretty cool.
One more fun find. You know Virginia Woolf, but what about Virginia Wolf? This is a children's book written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. I couldn't resist. " . . . a story of two sisters, one blue, the other sunny, both brimming with imagination." This is a story about sisters, but also one of gardens and art.
I have a stack of novels, mysteries and nonfiction titles, too, but I think I will save them for another day. It's good to have a little something new and different now and again!