Archive for October, 2008

Growing up with a mom who is a self confessed bibliophile, I caught the book bug early. I grew up surrounded by hundreds of books. Before I could read, my parents read to me every night and when I could, it was like unlocking this awesome superpower-like ability. We didn’t have a tonne of money when I was a kid, but whenever I wanted a book, my parents always tried to make it a priority to buy it for me. Otherwise, if it was the end of the month and money was low, we’d walk the dozen or so blocks to the local library to pick it up. Originally, I took out all of my books – my Berenstein Bears, my Clifford the Big Red Dogs and my Amelia Bedelias – under my mother’s card, but soon enough they finally let me have my own. One of the first times I ever printed my name was on the back of my library card.
Not everything I read when I was younger was good. In fact, I would hazard to guess that most of it wasn’t (in grade school I was totally obsessed with the slightly trashy/definitely soap operatic Sweet Valley series), but my parents never cared. They were just happy I wanted to read.
And read I did. I read at school. I read on the bus. I read by the light of the streetlamp that shone through my window long after I was supposed to be asleep. I read mysteries that challenged me and made me ask questions. I read comedies that engaged me and made me laugh. I read romances that shocked me and made me hide them at the bottom of my knapsack like contraband. I read so much that I won two grade school Readathons and filled a huge bookcase with my own books. In fact, times haven’t changed all that much as my adult apartment contains no less than five fully filled shelving units.
Which is why it kind of bums me out that Indigo/Chapters, Canada’s largest bookseller, doesn’t feel the same way I do. In the last decade or so, Indigo/Chapters has become such a mammoth retail entity that it has either crushed or absorbed most of the competition. Yet, now that they have the market cornered, they seem to have lost interest in their primary product and instead, they’ve taken to cluttering their stores with unnecessary giftware. This morning as I passed a display in Toronto’s underground for one of their big locations, I counted dozens of pencil cases, candles, hot water bottles and toiletry sets but only four books, two of which were so small and obscured, I had to duck down to see them.
If I want chocolate bars or bubble bath, I go to Shoppers Drugmart. If I want picture frames or tea cups, I go to The Bay. But when I want something to read, I go Indigo/Chapters. So please, whoever the heck is in charge of marketing/displays over there, stop acting like books are your dirty little secret and get rid of all that extraneous crap.
Us reading folks will thank you.

Read Full Post »

Crap Monkey!

(I don’t know when I started saying this but it has become my catchphrase anytime something bad/frustrating happens.)

For my 26th birthday, Boy bought me a brand new laptop – Arthur Putey. This was partially because we play online together (yes, we’re WOW geeks) and partially because my old laptop which was about 3 years old was running incredibly slowly.

So, we picked it out together and I had been using it happily until yesterday when I tried to turn it on and it wouldn’t. After hours of tinkering, it turns out that the thing rebelled against me (Arthur Putey isn’t supposed to rebel!) and its stupid hard drive crashed! In fact, the thing is so junked that it has to be sent away, hopefully to be returned in two weeks! The thing is less than three months old!

Anyway, I have my old laptop to revert back to (which takes 20 minutes to warm up), but I’m super sad to be betrayed by technology like this. Leave it to me to pick out a lemon . . . Ugh.

Have any of you had a computer or a piece of technology crash on you like this? It would make me feel better to know I am not alone. 😦

Read Full Post »

Three days after I moved out of my parents’ house, they turned my bedroom into a library. I don’t blame them for this. In fact, it was my idea. However, it kind of sucked for me because coming “home” for the holidays and seeing all my stuff gone made me feel strangely displaced. I think, on some level that feeling has never really gone away. I am 26 years-old, I have moved 10 times and there are days that I wonder if I am ever going to find a place. The right place. The place where I feel comfortable and settled and like everything is mine.
The place we live now is gorgeous. It’s got huge windows, reasonable space and is on the edge of a great park. It is the happiest I have ever been and I very much like it there, but I realize that, as is the way with renting, there were people there before us and there will be people there after us, so I’m conscious of not getting too attached.
So, since I am still feeling a bit transient, I figured that if I can’t find my physical place just yet, I might as well make a virtual one on the interweb. Because no matter where I go in the world, here I’ll be. Yikes, I am starting to sound like a Faith Hill song, so this is probably an appropriate time to sign off on my first post here on the park. I promise that the subsequent posts will be a lot less country and a lot less emo.
Cheers and happy reading,

Read Full Post »