Happiness is Real Books

Okay, I know you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy beautiful hardcovers and that are very happy making, not just because they’re beautiful, but because inside are some of the best times you’ve ever had reading. I just wrote a scene in which a guy who is leaving My Girl buys her a box full of hardcovers of her favorite books because he knows she has all them all in digital form, but he also knows that to make a home, you need books, beautiful books on shelves and not-so-beautiful books–some of them are very old out of print novels–but the books you love, like old friends around you, worlds you love you can escape to. And then since I’d given those books to My Girl in her story, I bought some for me in real life–Pratchets and a gorgeous reprint of the first Rivers of London–because I want those in my house. I want to be able to walk by a bookshelf and just pick one off. That makes me so happy.

What made you happy this week?

127 thoughts on “Happiness is Real Books

  1. While I think that makes a beautiful and touching moment in a story, in my life I have expended efforts to find homes for all the treebooks I had accumulated and replaced with digitals. Ebooks and audiobooks are my jam.

    I measure my physical books in shelf-feet. I currently have less than one shelf-foot of books. That makes me happy.

  2. Funnily enough, my happy this week is that Lois Mcmaster Bujold has announced on her blog that she has finished the first draft of a new Penric, tentatively called « Penric and the bandit », more of an adventure book she says, and that it will be published in July.

    I love a real book and I have started rebuying books for my apocalypse library but I do adore the speed at which ebooks are published too!

    1. I have eleven bookcases of real books and have many books on e-readers also. The local library is three blocks north of my house. I want to get a tee-shirt made that says: “Bookaholic: not looking for a cure…” Taf

  3. I’ve purchased some ebooks, but I’ve not found the process of reading them as pleasing as the reading of tree books. So I have bunches of books about. I once talked to a friend and indicated I had donated over 100 books to a library book sale. She was amazed – having only 13 books in her house (she is an avid user of the library, so definitely a reader). Meanwhile, I was counting bookshelves – I have more bookshelves than she has books!

    But it is time to purge books again. Sigh.

    Happiness has been crafting and cats and home. I had the trifecta the last two nights as I was home, on the couch, crocheting and had all three felines within my space – one on the far end of the couch, one snuggled up to my hip and one on my lap. It was lovely.

  4. My aunt used to collect American Heritage editions. They’re illustrated and have beautiful slipcases.

    I inherited five of them–The Virginian, by Owen Wister; The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling; Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott; The Poems of John Donne and Marcus Aurelius.

    They’re gorgeous. I need to go back and reread The Virginian. It’s hilarious and exciting and heartbreaking all at once.

  5. Thinking about hardcover books, I realize the most I have are cookbooks. I love cookbooks not only the classics but the super local ones, like the new orleans creole cookbook I just read to find new to me, old flavor combinations.
    I decided to cook clean a long time ago
    and old cookbooks have recipes that are truly from non processed foods. That makes me happy!

    I just bought some bacon ends from Findlay market butcher to make some black beans Cuban style, my cousin gave me her recipe Yay!

    1. I adore cookbooks too, and most people look at me like I’m insane when they see how many I have. Years ago I attempted to do an inventory, and after 500 I stopped counting. That black bean recipe sounds delicious!

    2. One of my bookcases is mostly cookbooks. I hardly pull them out any more, doing most of my searching for new recipes on line.

  6. What makes me happy this week is that realizing even though we have yet ANOTHER plumbing problem, sewage backup of the most disgusting kind (I swear a water witch has put a curse on me where pipes burst, sewage backs up, inside floods abound) and the Oilers lost the first game of the finals to the Panthers in a humiliating shutout ending with an empty net goal – that these are the kind of problems where no one has died and we will all prevail. Also, my husband called the insurance company about our plumbing problem and the person said we don’t cover that kind of problem, so he waited five minutes and called the same number but got someone else who said oh yes we’ll take care of that and sent someone right over. A life hack I’m going to remember and repeat as necessary.

    1. Kudos to your husband. I hope your plumbing issues are resolved soon. Maybe Deb Blake can prescribe potential hex lifters?

    2. Great idea by your husband!!
      Good luck with the plumbing problems!
      Hockey now is too nerve wrecking for me, I don’t want to see my fav team go down to the more brutal one.

  7. Jenny, I agree that a “real” book is a joy. With the ebooks I don’t know where I am in the story, if they don’t have a listing of chapters and pages at the beginning. Many don’t. The last ebook I read had reached a nice point where things were moving in the right direction, and then it ended abruptly. I was left unsatisfied. Heavy books tax my hands, though. I have been moving toward the ebooks, partly for that reason, and because of the tree issue, and the space issue.

    My happy is that the rains stopped an hour after the time of Kali’s usual first foray outside this morning. She is trained to use a pad, but she prefers going outside. She held it, and we went out.

    My other happy is seeing a young bunny in my yard for the first time this year. I didn’t even know there was a nest, but there are several large bushes that grow all the way to the ground in my yard, now, where a nest could be hidden. There is plenty of cover for bunnies, and a lot of violas, which they love to munch on. I love bunnies!

    1. I have the same problem with paper books and my hands. I figure it was caused by many years of typing all day and work and then all evening at home, but typing doesn’t trigger the neuropathy. Holding heavy books does.

    2. Jan, Your ereader almost certainly has an option, evidently turned off in your case, for “show percent completed.” It should be somewhere in the settings, possibly under Display. Granted, authors sometimes pad out their ebooks with lots of promotional material in the back, so it’s not a perfect replacement, but it gives you more information than you now have. With it on, the percent completed should display either on every page bottom or at worst when you tap the page to get to functions besides display. (The Libby reader displays the current page number and last page number rather than percentages.)

      1. But Libby will display percentage when you tap the current page number, at least on my devices.

  8. A cool and rainy Sunday morning, which is basically permission to pull the covers up and sleep a little more. Also I love the sound of rain on things outside.

  9. My happy is a cool and rainy morning, which means I don’t have to water my bone-dry garden after all. (They’ve been calling for rain all week, but it mostly seems to have either gone around me, or come down in tiny amounts too small to make a difference.) Very happy not to have to drag the long hose across the yard and around the garden.

    I was actually having a lovely quiet morning, then I’m pretty sure I fell for a scam online (my own fault for not paying attention to the warning signs, although the migraine gets some of the blame–but really, I should have known better). Waiting to see if the fallout is any worse than just being out a bit of money. I have an alarm set on my credit card in case it is bigger than that. Sigh. Then I got into my car to go feed a friend’s cats and the ABS light came on and stayed on, so there is a call to the dealer in tomorrow’s future. I just keep reminding myself that these are all First World Problems, and not someone bombing my home. And at least I don’t have to water the garden.

    I went through this last year and did a major purge of my real books, trying to make room for a theoretical housemate (who is still theoretical, because it turns out I don’t like most people enough to share my house with them). I still have a LOT of books, even after ruthlessly weeding out the ones I’d read but would not be likely to reread (so many expensive hardcovers–I donated them when my local animal shelter had a rummage sale), and books that had been on my to be read shelf for years, and paperbacks whose print had somehow shrunk in the time I’d owned them. I hung on to my comfort rereads: the Jenny Crusies, Trisha Ashley, Katie Fforde, Tamora Pierce, Dick Francis, and such. And all the nonfiction I might still use as reference books, rather than looking things up online. The hardcover fiction mostly got moved from the upstairs “library” to the shelves in my new 4-season porch, where they look colorful and welcoming. So that makes me happy too.

    1. Car trouble is a drag! My sympathies.

      It sounded like the suspected scam was one where for some reason they not only had your credit card info but somehow had charged you for something you didn’t think you could successfully dispute with the credit card company? I’ve had both to get a new card number when I lost my wallet (later returned intact) and once a long time ago I successfully disputed a charge (possibly made in error rather than a fraud). Pains in the neck in both cases, but the card company was cooperative.

      1. No, it was a company that mimicked a real one (Oofos, which is the only kind of shoes I wear), right down to their website. But when my login didn’t work, I should have realized there was an issue. Plus they had a “too good to be true” sale. Sigh. But so far my credit card seems okay.

    2. Deborah, call your credit card company and check what has been charged, if possible, cancel that charge. Or cancel the card so they can’t go back and grab more from your account.

      1. I immediately checked the card online, and they charged for the things I bought and so far nothing else. (Those things may or may not ever show up. If not, I’ll definitely dispute the charge.) I didn’t cancel the card, but I did set up an alert to let me know if anyone tries to put through a charge without the physical card. And I’ll be keeping a careful eye on it.

    3. It’s good that you used a credit card instead of debit card. Every degree of separation between your accounts is a good thing.

    4. Hi Deb-If you can avoid having a roommate, I recommend doing so!

      I had a former friend live in the back bedroom with attached bath, and after she put a deadbolt on her room without asking if it was OK, I evicted her. That was after I heard water running in the back room, and after I told her I was unable to climb in the back window (five feet above ground level), she came home and unlocked the room and jiggled the toilet lever to stop the water running. She left owing back rent and most of a few loans I’d made to her for a few car repairs. She did not believe me when I told her that water damage was a real thing.
      I told her I wanted her next roommate experience to be living with someone just like she was. I don’t know if that happened or not, but it would have been nice! Taf

      1. I feel your pain. Current tenant is digging her heels in despite notice to vacate. And two angry roommates. We must travel north. Not happy.

        1. Carol I hope you get an easier (and cheaper) fix for your problem tenant! Sending good wishes and virtual hugs…I hope the two angry roommates end up in a different space that suits them better. May you end up with a much better tenant once the current mess is resolved! Taf

      2. I actually had a surprisingly good experience sharing the house with a friend who moved in during Covid. She was here for a year and a half and then met a guy and moved out. It wasn’t perfect, but I still miss her. I’m coming to the conclusion, however, that she may have been a unicorn.

    5. I feel you, Deb. I was having a really bad day a couple of weeks ago & I absent mindedly answered a scam text – gave them personal info including my card#. I saw the text the next day & was so mad at myself. I called the bank fraud line. They hadn’t charged anything so I closed that card & opened a different one.

      The following day they tried to charge 207$ online to Target but it didn’t go through cause I cancelled that card.

      Florida is really bad. That time was my fault but other times were not & I have changed my card 4 times in the 5 years I’ve been here.

      I have my cards in a cute case that has that thing that means they can’t clone them.

      My thing is – if you’re smart enough to do that & you want money – get a job.

  10. What made me happy this week:

    Feeling well enough to use the self-propelled mower and seeing the grass cut behind me, with sweat trickling down. Means I’m getting better.

    My daughter calling her dad at work because she tried to call me two days in a row and didn’t get me. I was on DND because I was napping the first day, and at the doctor the second day. It’s kind of amazing to be loved that much by someone.

    Phone calls every day at lunch with my husband, to decide on dinner, to say hello, to say I love you.

    Air conditioning.

    A nap.

    That last one surprised me, too. Apparently, everything I ever resisted as a child is coming back around to be a joyful thing.

    1. I have often thought that mandatory naps are wasted on toddlers. We can all use a lie down to improve our outlook on life.

      1. Once I figured out people should nap when they are tired. After all children are practically forced to when they get cranky. I napped and it is glorious, it meant my tired, overworked, stressed out to burnout body is forced to slow down. It helps me function and improves my mood, resting my eyes

        1. I nap almost every day, and have for years because of my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Just 45 minutes or an hour, and sometimes it is resting not sleeping, but it makes all the difference.

    2. I just saw something on the internet, so it must be true! People who nap regularly have a lower incidence of heart problems. If you say “men who nap regularly”, it lowers the risk by 68% – which is better than any drug out there can claim.

      1. I have to vote against naps, though. In the rare instances when I nap I wake up feeling groggy and exhausted and worse off than I was before.

        1. Both in the world at large and when the topic last came up here, it has been clearly established that at least a very significant minority of people do better not to nap, at least not routinely, because they wake up groggy and have trouble falling asleep that night. Like Mary Anne, I’m in that group.

          1. Mary Anne,

            Not *these* scientists, it seems, but I’ve seen interviews where the scientist praised napping as a rule, but said he couldn’t do it himself (or herself? both in different interviews?) for the reasons we’ve mentioned.

        2. Same here. Usually, napping doesn’t work for me unless my body really needs it. Then, a very short nap (even resting the head for 15 min on the desk – back in the day while at uni) works great.
          But not on a regular basis.

  11. Having a successful show at work and getting to see customers. Now that we do by-appointment-only shows, boss can handle the NY and CA shows with minimal help, so I only participate in the MI show where we are already. It is lovely to see someone excited by getting the ring of their dreams, and we have some delightful customers who are just fun to interact with. Also glad it is theoretically over, and we just have a few stragglers popping in this week.

    Had a lovely time this morning reading GBT. It took a while because there were so many and of course, I had to order samples …….

    Planning to make muffins, eat chocolate and reread my favorite Lord Wimsey so a lovely afternoon in my future.

  12. Most of my happy this week has been anticipatory — the joy of knowing good things are on their way later this month and into July. Things like being able to see again (cataract surgery), getting a set of stairs redone so I can actually use them (the steps are too high for me now), and the Romancing the Vote auction the first week of July.

    Oh, and the first two home-grown strawberries of the year ripened. Alpine variety (tiny but incredibly flavorful, unlike the huge ones in the grocery store). And, oddly for this time of year, getting two pears from my grocery store (locally owned, small, reliable for most things, but not great with produce) that were actually at just the right stage of ripeness, not one of the usual extremes of hard-as-rock or over-ripe and rotting in the middle.

    1. Best of luck for the cataract surgery, my friends and family have had excellent results!

      Glad you had good luck with strawberries and pears. I am happy that there are good farmer’s markets in many places, (including near my house). Taf

    2. Gun, are you getting single distance lenses or the kind that have multi distance focus?

  13. I am wearing my black jeans during a cat sitting gig and so far I am showing no cat hair. Of course, that means that neither of the cats has let me cuddle them yet, but I have hopes for the next day and a half. I also talked to another friend who lives out here and hope to see her before I leave tomorrow. And the sun is out for the moment, which I really appreciate.

    The one book in my collection that I will never give away is one that my Friend made for me when she was taking a bookbinding class. It was her first attempt at marbled end papers and a raised cover design. It isn’t perfect, but the fact that she bought hard cover copies of three of our favorite picture books and bound them together for me makes it immeasurably precious to me.

  14. Candy wrappers. An English teacher/College guidance counselor friend just retired. At her retirement party, there were Hershey’s miniatures candy bars. Each has the cover of a piece of literature that Molly taught during her 45 years. My husband got Crime & Punishment and The Turn of the Screw. Mine were The Norton Anthology of Literature and Hamlet. (Plus, mine were Krackle bars and his were only plain chocolate.)

  15. I don’t know what the deal is with strawberries. I don’t think the ones my folks gardened in my childhood were a special variety, but they were small and flavorful, and the ones sold in stores, if not always flavorful, were smaller and lacked a disgusting looking mass of white under the surface (if their flesh was white, it must have been colored by the juice more quickly). I’m not sure when the change to monsters happened.

    1. Should have added “colored by the juice when cut or crushed.” And no, not *everything* was better in the Good Old Days, just a few things.

    2. If you can find a local source, they will probably be closer to your remembering. The best strawberries at my farmers market come from an organic farmer, and are expensive, but they are small and bursting with flavor. Precious as gold. The others from the local farms aren’t quite as good, or as pricey, but still better than the store version. I am trying to get to the local pick-your-own spot so I can freeze some and hoard them for the rest of the year.

    3. It’s mostly a matter of ongoing breeding for appearance and durability rather than flavor. But I read somewhere that at least with tomatoes (same issue with store versions deteriorating in flavor), if you grew the same varieties at home and let them vine ripen, instead of picking them a week early so they ripen in transit, they would taste a lot better. So some of it is the too early harvesting, so they can survive the long trip from farm to store. For both tomatoes and strawberries, and peaches and pears, etc.

      1. Yes: best is to pick them warmed by the sun and really ripe, and eat them straight away. And ignore them in the supermarket out of season.

        1. Alas, with travel distances and central purchasing, even in season, in the US, supermarket tomatoes are now a huge gamble. I’ve pretty much given up, and even in my salads I use chilled canned tomatoes.

          Before I retired, for a while there was a convenient fresh-produce stand next to my workplace. And after retirement there was a farmers market weekly near my library branch. Now the country is using the land for something else. I’m sure there must be a farm stand to be found somewhere in the vicinity, but it’s less convenient wherever it’s hiding.

      2. I went into my hydroponics today with every intent of picking a dozen cherry tomatoes. I’d been in their vicinity and thought they looked red… but with the overhead light on, they were still green. Some of my grow lights are red (some are blue, some are multi-spectrum) and fooled me. So I picked a dozen poblanos and jalapeños instead. I’m thinking “Unstuffed Peppers” for dinner.

    4. I’ve developed an allergy to strawberries. Sigh. I do have a good crop of black raspberries and blackberries to look forward to . Volunteers all.

  16. I love paper books. I almost exclusively read ebooks, or listen at this point, but I collect pretty books like a dragon. My husband bought an IKEA bookshelf yesterday at a rummage sale. Much swearing was involved in putting it together, but it’s pretty and now I have a whole empty shelf to contemplate. I got a little spendy at the end of last month, so purchasing pretty copies may have to wait a bit, but I can plot and dream. Just touching them and moving them around makes me happy when I am blue, so I am ok with that.

    My other happy for today is the nice weather. I am at an art show in a park until 4. Waited for the rain to stop this morning before setting up and now it’s lovely. The church across the street is having their strawberry festival as well, so there is ice cream and shortcake in my future.

    1. I am jealous of your nice weather. I went to an outdoor memorial service where it was cold, windy and rainy. Also jealous of the ice cream and shortcake. Yum. Although there were curry chicken sandwiches at the memorial services which were quite nice.

  17. DD is coming to stay for two weeks so that’s a big happy (she has a friend getting married, hence the visit so soon after we saw her). We plan to go though her childhood books and make a box for me to bring her when she has a baby, which they are hoping to start soon. So that’s a sentimental happy. Plus a tiny start on decluttering.

    When we built the house we put in shelves in the kitchen so I have probably 10 foot of cookbooks at hand. That’s a happy. They used to be in another room which I found inexplicably annoying. I probably have a favorite recipe in about half of them. And the rest are for reading and dreaming.

    Today we go to the farmers market to see if we can buy scapes for pistachio scape pesto.

    I trimmed my butterfly bush yesterday in the hopes that I will get enough light to grow nasturtiums instead of impatiens—the impatiens patch has grown too big, a friend planted creeping Jenny without my consent (DH approved) and it’s creeping out of the marshy bit of the garden, as are the cattails that we meant to plant, and the dianthus looks like it could use more light too. It took 2 hours to cut off the few branches plus a lot of dead wood and cut it up and was excellent exercise. My garden is starting to look colorful and reasonably neat and I’m almost done planting annuals. And I persuaded DH we could try nasturtiums trailing from pots on the stone wall on the back so I can see them while I work. My garden makes me happy.

    DH’s garden in the back on the other hand largely annoys me as he uses so much of the patio for what I consider to be uninteresting plants that there is no room to sit there, has piles of wood, lots of weeds….and as a Jersey boy feels compelled to grow many large pots of tomatoes which I then have to tend and harvest when he travels for work. But he does have a sorrel patch and we are eating a second batch of sorrel soup which may be the perfect summer soup. Sorrel soup makes me happy.

    I am working on lining up the summer activities I consider to be essential summer: we missed a lot of them during the pandemic years and I am determined to get them in. I have booked nationals games and two games at the local college ball field. We have had sorrel soup. We are growing squash for squash blossom soup and scrambled eggs with squash blossoms. We are looking for scapes. We have seen fireflies.

    Still to come :

    At least one trip to pick berries, make jam, one trip to Wolftrap, one big barbecue, one time making smores.
    And washing the hammock so I can lie in it (on it?) and read books.

    Taking advantage of summer makes me happy.

    What are everyone else’s summer happies?

    1. I have seen lots of fireflies this year! I credit leaving the grass clumps untouched until late spring, and leaving other dry stems uncut, as well. Bugs like to overwinter, or maybe lay eggs to overwinter, in those.

  18. Work continues to be a dream.

    The play I got into (after the one I’m currently doing) got canceled, as the director got fired for cringe-y reasons (sigh). I have audtioned at another theater and got a callback for them on Monday, so I’m pretty pleased about that.

    1. So happy for you. Dream job and call back. May your day job continue to be a dream and you will act, sing, and soar to new heights. You persevered. Cheers.

  19. Before it becomes GBT and I’ve moved on, this morning I finished Look on the Bright Side by Kristan Higgins. That was a tree book from the library. After I got into it, I liked it, mainly because it takes place on the South Shore, the Cape and Boston and all the places in-between. I’m so familiar with the area that I felt I was coasting along on Lark’s journey. From Mass Gen. Brighams, to the Copley Plaza, Boston Common, Quincy, South Shore Medical Center, Route 3, to the Cape. It was peopled with all great characters, Lark’s parents and sibs. Dr. Satan and his family, his firefighter brother and 99-year-old grandmother, a dog of course, a falcon and humor. Also, sadness be prepared.

    This week we ordered another cable box, just one, Verizon sent four. So, I watched the chaos involved in replacing all the boxes. They updated to a mini box, so we decided to go with the flow and make the change. Murphey’s Law was involved. There were no instructions so, we (meaning my husband), had to figure it out for himself. Overseeing is hard work. After three days the tech guy is coming tomorrow.

    1. That’s how it’s always worked for me-tried to figure it out on my own and then get the tech guy to come out.

    2. I’m reading Look on the Bright Side right now. So far the sad bits are bearable, and I too am loving the Cape setting. My family went most years when I was a kid, and camped out for our summer vacation. Some of my happiest memories are there, albeit somewhat blurry.

  20. Yesterday, we went to our local indie bookstore. The member of the family who is the least bookish is also scheduled to do jury duty soon. She found three books to buy, one of which she began reading in the car on the way home. Happiness!

  21. Happy this week was getting both front and back yards in a state where I can leave them for the better part of 3 weeks without facing utter disarray upon return (upcoming week away = 2 weekends without yardkeeping). Many things continue to bloom.

    Did a pretty deep dive into research for a new project based on a story prompt from Lupe & Tammy. 🙂 That’s been fun, thus happy. Also found that DH’s subscription to Peacock gets me some necessary visuals. He will no doubt be wondering why certain programming has ended up in ‘my stuff’ along with his action movies.

    Books: I do love them. In pursuit of less clutter, not paying too much extra $$ for truck space when we move, and not leaving an impossible burden to whomever cleans up after me in the end, I’ve drawn down the collection from a high of over 2000 to under 400 – mostly nonfiction and/or illustrated. E-reader has saved my vision, given how much fiction I read.

    This week I ordered three more physical books (research!) which meant I needed to cull out three. Fortunately there is a nibling interested in the subject matter of the culls, one of which I can get again as an ebook should I require it and the others being one-time reads.

  22. Yesterday, I finally bought fuchsia for a big flower pot in front of my door. It had stood empty for a while – the spring here, in Vancouver, was cold and wet. Now, finally it is warm. Time for flowers. Every time I glance outside and see the large pink and purple blooms, it makes me happy.

      1. Most of them prefer some shade. They don’t usually need huge amounts of water as long as they’re not baking in a small pot. My hardy fuchsias are pretty easy, but they’re all in some shade.

  23. Trying for short, since chores cry out for attention:

    A lot of my recent happiness seems to be of the “I love it when a plan comes together” variety.*  The plan in question can be either for an activity that doesn’t entirely depend on me and needs outside input to work, or of a plan depending only on me (not counting outside distractions) that actually works as intended.

    To follow up on an earlier post, my building’s resurfaced parking lot opened just before I left to go shopping, so that I was able to unload afterwards without lugging grocery bags over a long distance from my car.  That may or may not have been in response to a query I sent to the condo association’s management company.  I think they were distracted by the tornadoes (since they may well also manage properties that suffered damage).  I got no answer and we never got an email announcing the reopening; all that happened was that the yellow tapes blocking the entrances were cut, but with the pieces still in place, tied off at their other ends.  They didn’t get cleared until the following day.  The lot looks vastly better after the resurfacing. 

    I finished my book club book with time to spare.  Getting to the meeting involved complications.  The club meets in whatever country library branch where it can reserve a meeting room that month—ideally a centrally located branch, but we can’t always get a room there.  We’re now up to 4 branches.  I’d never been to to the peripheral branch where we met this month.  I misjudged travel time and arrived slightly late.  Since it was Saturday afternoon, the parking lot was nearly full and I required time to find an empty spot, with a longish walk to the building.  I couldn’t find the room on my own and had to find a librarian to ask, who said it was in another part of the building and sent me back to the front desk, where librarians were busy checking out books and I had to wait my turn.  One eventually pointed me in the right direction.  I wasn’t hugely late even with all of that.  We had a low attendance, so the others were glad to see me.  Despite the low attendance, we had a good meeting and we all enjoyed the book, even the person who is most contrarian among the attendees.  Something I can cover on GBTh.


    For youngsters and Europeans out there, that’s an “A Team” allusion.

    1. Always something! Asterisk on the actual footnote got dropped in copying. Hopefully clear enough despite that.

  24. I love reading paper books! I have some on my keeper shelf that open automatically to favorite scenes. One of my neighbors is moving and brought some things to the curb, including a very nice bookcase. With the help of another neighbor I got the bookcase (all real wood) home and it’s already filled. LOL!

    1. What great luck Carrie, I love real wood bookcases!

      I got a couple of huge ones that are fiberboard with veneer that I bought from a friend years ago (good price and she didn’t know better). I could not back out of the deal at that point, but the next time good wooden bookcases are available, those imposters will be history! Taf

  25. I’m enjoying my annual get-together with two close friends from college. We’re exploring York: yesterday we walked round the walls, and I especially enjoyed the gate the Romans had marched through on their way to what’s now Scotland: 2,000 years of history – there were bits of Roman fortifications just inside the walls.

    1. I remember my own visit to York and my walk around the walls back when. I had an awkward moment—somebody actually had an apartment in one of the wall towers, and, it being a warm day, he had the door open. I thought it was just a through passage and tried to walk through. He redirected me—I had to descend to the ground, cross the street, and climb back up to the wall to continue. I enjoyed the visit despite that incident.

  26. I’ve recently discovered Rivers of London, and I’m binge-reading from the Library. Despite being contemporary, they have a slightly Victorian flavor. So if you like Victorian detectives, I can recomend them.
    Anette, the Great Dane

  27. I love real paper books, partly for the feel and partly because I can lend. I learned, however, to be happy with ebooks, first after I lost my extensive (2500 books plus) when my home burned down and then some years later when I got rid of those I’d bought in the intervening years in order to simplify a three-year move to China.

    Now I have only one and a half deep bookcases (books double parked!) and it suits me fine. In fact I enjoy reading on my laptop using kindle app with screen wide in front of me.

    The only drawback is access to books: in my region there is only a small bilingual private library not on the system. And though I can borrow from a small library in Vermont online, its access is limited too. I miss the long hours of traipsing the aisles with my head crooked to the side while I decided what to read next…

    1. Given Quebec’s repeated emphasis on retaining its culture, I’m astonished that it does not make better provision for its libraries, in terms of ebook lending and interlibrary loan. Jo Walton in Montreal makes heavy use of the taxpayer funded Bibliothèque nationale there (as you know, but others may not, nation = Quebec in this context). So folks on the periphery such as yourself are just out of luck?!

      1. I lived on n Montreal for a couple of years a number of years ago and the libraries were ok, as long as you were reading in French. This was the case even in primarily Anglephone areas. It was a big contrast to the Ontario library system, which while underfunded, has always been excellent.

  28. The raspberries are beginning to come in. Only a handful each day but warm from the sun and so delicious. Food does not get better.

    1. Oh, I’m really hoping for raspberries this year. I grow autumn ones, so they’re only ready from the end of July, but a disease lurking in the soil has killed the first two lots I planted, all bar one so far. I’ve planted an All Gold in a tub in my garden, and am keeping my fingers crossed.

      1. Sadly, I ripped out all my raspberry plants last fall. They were attracting Japanese beetles to my garden. I picked them off regularly but they always destroyed my raspberries and then moved onto my other plants.

  29. Happiness was a women’s conference with my beloved friends yesterday. I fought off a nap after lunch, although my head bobbed a lot. Discovering the new peony planted last year, bloomed. A beautiful full white blossom. The climbing roses are in bloom, a rich scarlet colour. And I am happily reading book two, Blue Murder by Emma Jameson. One more chapter then out to the garden.

  30. Happiness is checking off items on my to-do list and finally feeling free to crochet and watch cozy mysteries on BBC. It’s been over a month since I got to work on the sweater I started in January. Finishing the yoke made me very happy indeed. 😀

  31. Happiness is getting the basement stairs redone properly. I had Gin’s problem in reverse. The contractor decided, without consulting me, to change the riser height from 9″ to the standard 7″ “so that I wouldn’t have to lift my feet so high”. Unfortunately, since he couldn’t extend the stair case, that shortened the stair treads way too much. After a week of trying to get used to them, I had him back to restore the 9″ risers with the deeper tread. Very, very, very happy. They are so much safer for me.

    I decided to try a Kindle and am loving it. I’ll still buy some authors and books in hard cover and paperback for the apocalypse library; but, I need to have fewer physical books.

    My latest gardening project is to shorten my big azalea in the front yard. I cut back the sides and front last year and am finishing the trimming job. Next up is clearing the ground cover around the stepping stones.

  32. Happiness this week is that the seeds I planted in my new above-ground planter are sprouting nicely (and quickly). I’m looking forward to when they all get to the edible stage.

    Second happy is that the phone company appears to have finally cancelled my old internet service after 3+ hours of calls with 6 different people—several of which insisted that to cancel my internet they also had to cancel my home phone. It was a very frustrating experience and I had to channel my inner-cranky-old-lady (and deal with repeated attempts at upselling) to get everything cleared up.

    On the book front—I have my own library room in the house, which is a clue to my fondness for physical books. I do much of my reading on my Kindle app where I can increase the font size, but I like knowing the physical books are there.

    1. Beth E – I changed my home internet providers to one with equally good service at half the price. The old service charged me for another month after it should have stopped billing. It took 3 complaints to the BBB to get a partial refund. & even then it was on a bank card that was very difficult to use. I persevered, though.

  33. I love books but have increasingly turned to ebooks – I can adjust the font size and read in the middle of the night. Better than lying awake.

    I was happy that the extreme heat and humidity disappeared mid-week. We’ve subsequently had several days of intermittent and often heavy rain. The gardens are happy and my rain barrels are full.

    I made my annual batch of rhubarb syrup with honey. My rhubarb plants are both huge this year and I expect I’ll be making more syrup and freezing it. Lovely as ice cubes to add to summer drinks.

    My neighbour told me he is very happy that I’m gardening in his backyard. I’ve converted more than half of it into a vegetable garden. I was worried he might find it a bit messy. In addition to various home made trellises, I liberally use lightweight garden cloth to keep the bunnies and squirrels from eating new seedlings. However, he’s happy it’s being used and didn’t blink an eye at my squash trellis made from hula hoops.

  34. I love paper books, but I am trying to take out more from the library these days. Unfortunately, the library’s idea of what to buy and mine are getting farther and farther apart every year.

    I went to the last sale of the season at my favorite thrift store yesterdaybefore they close for the summer. The selection was kind of small, but prices were definitely low, especially on glasses. I don’t know where I will put the 7 wine glasses and 2 beer glasses I bought, but I am hoping they will encourage me to entertain more often. If nothing else, it will force me to arrange my cabinets more logically. But I got smart about bringing all that stuff home and made a separate trip this morning to take them across town and pick up my newspaper. All of the glasses made it across town safely and now I will have a lot less to carry home tomorrow.

    The best happy is that I am going out for breakfast tomorrow with my friend Carol. We tried to arrange a visit from Carol’s granddaughters over the weekend, but that didn’t work out and we are now trying to make it happen on my last cat sitting gig in September. Which means I will meet these 2 kids a week or 2 before their fifth birthday.

    1. Aunt Snack, does your library have access to interlibrary loan? I get many books that way that my regular library doesn’t have. I can even order then via computer online.

      1. Yes, but it is kind of complicated, so I prefer to order things from a terminal in the library so there is someone I can ask for help if the request doesn’t go through. Maybe after I’ve done it a few more times, I will remember how to do it without having someone talk me through it.

  35. Today’s happy was a long phone conversation with Youngest Son who was full of news and was in a very sharing mood. Nothing is better than liking and enjoying one’s adult children – and realizing they like you too. Made my day.

  36. I love real books. I only have so much space though, so I’m rather selective about which ones I keep and which ones end up in the neighbourhood libraries.

    My happy this weekend was everything about the CrossFit competition I did!
    I was able to compete because they include Foundations movements in the Scaled division, the weather was great, and EVERYONE was fantastic!
    I pushed myself to limits I didn’t know I could reach, and I did not vomit (came close on the chipper workout this morning; it was SO HARD).
    I now have training goals for next year.

    Happiness is having a bath after a weekend of hard physical work!

  37. I’m usually content rather than happy but this afternoon I was happy!

    We watched Dr Who & not only is the new doctor a handsome black Scotsman (there has already been a scene where he was tearing up the dance floor in a kilt – hoping for more) – today’s episode revealed he is openly gay!

    Some of the little whos in whoville are very unhappy – aww – so not sympathetic.

    As to books – I am very selective in what treebooks I have. All of Jenny’s, of course, including a signed Maybe This Time from when I went to hear her speak in Louisville, KY. I have them on Ebook as well.

    I also have cookbooks because I don’t like them on Ebook. & I have some books where I don’t want the information to disappear in these banning days – herbals, for example. If I could afford it – I would collect coffee table books of artists & photographers.

    Other happys – avoided a possible derailment of my mostly unsuccessful attempt to improve my mobility / health. Back on track the last 2 days.

    And the usual Sunday happy. Working overnight. Off at 730am Monday & don’t go back until Thursday evening. Yes!

    Covid ruined the library for me as far as treebooks are concerned. I used to love libraries but now I am a bit of a germaphobe & that was made worse by the last treebook I checked out having suspicious smears in a few places. Yuck.

  38. The basement is now finished. Started last June and was supposed to take 12 weeks. My husband believed it. I doubled it. We were both wrong. I didn’t want to finish the basement, but I now have a library ladder. I occasionally do think of using it in a musical number.

  39. Last year, I got rid of 600 books. I still have 11 bookcases overflowing with books, but I was happy to make an initial cull. I also have currently over 1200 ebooks. While I was very resistant to ebooks initially, I am now a super fan, mostly because of the font function. As our eyesight gets worse, both my husband and I really appreciate the ability to adjust the font accordingly. I think that people who look down their noses at ebooks are usually able-bodied. Still, a book is a thing of beauty, and I appreciate them in all their modalities.

  40. I found a good Chinese food restaurant that will do takeaway in Edinburgh! So pleased.

    Occasionally we just want food to show up ready to eat. Like when the dishwasher shorts out all the power in the house. My second happy is that the dishwasher is working again without any input from me.

    There are many mediocre and ok Chinese takeaways. We have tried 9 that I remember. Only one was excellent takeaway(Gy Chinese) which would even do special requests but doesn’t deliver to this neighbourhood. And since I ‘ll probably go to bed with ringing ears whenever I eat food not made at home I need it to be really good, to be worth it.

    Wuzhen of China, might be worth trying in person too, as their specialities don’t get delivered.

  41. My happy this week was watching episode 3 of the Sewing Bee with a friend whilst eating risotto.

    I read a lot of ebooks, but it’s hard to beat the real thing. Partly because I’m much more likely to read, or re-read, something because I wander past it on a shelf or see it on one of my many piles of Stuff. It’s harder to remember books are there on the ereader.

    Am going to a national trust property tomorrow, and will take a bag of books to donate. They will take elderly hardbacks which it’s hard to get rid of. Some of which I’ve been able to read by reminding myself that I can find the etext on Gutenberg or Faded Page. Must try not to buy any other books whilst there.

  42. I love to sit and look at all my bookcases crammed with books,I have nine normal bookcases and six double front floor to ceiling ones all full .I also have about four big plastic tubs I really have to sort through. My Kindle is nearly full again I’ve had to delete some twice already.My husband says I would be happy living in a book shop. My daughter in law reads cookery books the way I read books. My happiness this week is spending the week with my eldest son,daughter in law,and my one and only 5yr old granddaughter Alys in Jersey(Channel Islands)my daughter in law was born there so we will be catching up with all her family.

    1. My Mom used to read cookbooks that way, too. She said they gave her a good picture of how people lived.

  43. Unstoppable real book adopter, hardcovers preferable. When I moved into this house, I had what once was a hall filled with gorgeous white oak bookcases, floor to ceiling. The women who built them thought I’d never fill it up, but even then I ended up with books left over. That was the ’90s (lol). Since then I’ve filled up room after room with bookshelves, and when my best friend died, she left me all *her* books on top of all of mine. Whoever ends up carting me out of the house in a pine box is gonna have fun with this (my sisters are also book women, so this is on them).

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