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Such willpower to return all those books :) I haven't been to the library in a while but I've been putting some holds. Can't wait.

And, while I haven't read this Dirda book, I have another of his books and I feel the same way. It's a book to be dipped into here and there. Love that.

Enjoy your bedside books!


Iliana--I've been very bad--there were just too many and they were making me feel a little overwhelmed. I can always check them back out. Now I just have a very few, which is much more manageable! Dirda's books seem like they are easy to pick up and set down and just read a bit of. I really like that!


I always seem to check out more books than I can read and then hold on to them longer than I should with such high hopes. The good thing is that the library is such a forgiving soul and accepts one's lapses and invites one back in.

I am quite intrigued by the Dirda book and your summary of it as well. As for books being "instruments of self-exploration" I would pretty much agree, though it has taken me to these doddering years of grannyhood to realize it. I do still read for escape and pleasure, but, I am aware that the reading, whatever I read, makes me, hopefully a better person.

You write so well. Thank you.


I started Just Kids as this is the type of thing I normally do read. I still remember Marianne Faithfull's Autobiography one of the best I ever read. Intelligent, subtle, fascinating. Patti Smith should be equally good and you get two things at the same time a look into the art world and the world of rock'n'roll. I love her music too. Mapplethorpe is an interesting person as well. I was never disappointed when reading an autobiography or biography of an intelligent musician.


Michael Dirda is always so good at putting just the right words to the experience of reading. I've got a big book of his reviews, Bound To Please, that I dip into occasionally - at much risk to my tbr pile! What he says about Madame Bovary is spot on.

Dorothy W.

I've got Book by Book, and I remember enjoying it and getting some good reading recommendations from it. I remember a section on creative nonfiction that I took quite a few titles from.


You must be frequently tempted if part of your job is opening boxes of new books... I don't know how you limit yourself to just a couple! The Dirda book sounds wonderful. I love books that you can dip into like that, especially for bedtime reading. It helps keep me from getting engrossed in a story and looking up to find it's midnight! Sort of like a bedtime snack as opposed to a full-on meal. :)


Book by Book is my favorite Micheal Dirda book. And I often times think my library book checking out pattern is like eating. It is often that my "eyes are bigger than my stomach" and I come home with too many books.


Penny--I do the same thing. I just discovered that my library no longer has a grace period for overdue books. They used to not start counting for a couple of days until after the due date. I stopped by this week and noticed a fine on my account and discovered that a book I brought back a couple of days late (thinking I was within the grace period) were accumulating fines! Oops. Now I will have to be more conscientious about my due dates. I really liked that Dirda quote and I think he's very sensible on reading. I probably don't think exactly in those terms when reading, but I am sure it's there subconsciously.
Caroline--Do let me know what you think of it. I took a look at what I need to read this month and put it on the back burner for the moment, though I still very much want to read it. I love anything about art, though I don't read enough on the subject. And I know very little about Patti Smith and not much about Mapplethorpe--what is so interesting aside from their lives is the time period and place, which I fins really fascinating.
Litlove--I do like the way Dirda writes--I wish I could articulate my thoughts half as well. And I also thought he wrote very sympathetically about Emma B. I was very pleased to see her mentioned and wished he would have had a whole chapter on Madame Bovary and Anna K.
Dorothy--I've got another of his collections of essays by my bed and I read one or two of them on occasion as well. But this is nice to read a few pages of at the end of the night. I think I'll be noting down a few titles as well.
Kathy--I work in the Acquisitions department, so I order books and pay invoices. A lot of what we get is esoteric, academic books, which look interesting but more complicated and advanced than I would want to read. However we do get a fair amount of really interesting books and it is hard to send them on their way to the stacks. I am often pulling books aside to check out. There was a time that I could stay up half the night reading, but now I have to get up so early I can barely stay awake to watch the news! Dirda is perfect for this reason-I can just read a few pages and set it aside again.
Debbie--I have one of Dirda's other books of essays, which I also enjoy dipping into, but this has a nice combination of things--book lists and blurbs and quotations and such. My library habits are very much the same--I always request more than I can possibly read!


Yay for Dirda! I've read Book by Book and enjoyed it very much. Just Kids sounds interesting so I look forward to hearing more about it.


Stefanie--I like short easy books about books that can be read right before bed. And Dirda is goo anytime really. I have a feeling I'm going to be taking down lots of new titles. I may hold off on Just Kids while I do some other reading that needs to get done this month, but I am really interested in the book so hope to get to it eventually!

Kathleen Pizzo

I've seen some clips of Dirda on You Tube speaking about Classics and have already added Classics for Pleasure to my list to read. I'll have to add this one too.


Kathleen--I'd love to hear him speak--I'll have to look him up on Youtube now, as well. I'll have to look for his other book--I have one that is all short essays that I like to keep by my bedside.

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