It seems that my Man had discovered how to access my Amazon Wish List (I only had to show him how one time!) and had ordered one of the books thereon. It was a fun surprise in what was turning out to be a trying day.
Molly had finally gone down for a late morning nap and I announced to the older kids, "I am going to take a shower and it's gonna be a long one. Does anybody need anything?"
Assignments were handed out for the older two and some kid-friendly TV was tuned in for Kate. I closed the bathroom door and went about getting cleaned up for the day. Before the shampoo had a chance to bubble, the bathroom door was opened and a young voice said, "Mom, ------------- is on the phone and wants to talk to you."
"Please tell her I'm in the shower and I'll call her back."
(Didn't that sound polite? I knew the caller could hear me and the shower water because my child had carried the phone into the bathroom.)
The next child into the bathroom was carrying a freshly awakened Molly. "Tell Mommy good morning," cooed a cheerful voice as the shower curtain opened a crack and a face full of cheeks peeked through.
"Hi Molly. Short nap I see. Take her to her high chair and give her some crackers." Someday I will find that secret button that is hidden somewhere in the shower which alerts that sleeping child that she must immediately wake up and need attention.
Last but oh so not least, Kate entered the bathroom, hands full of..."Mom, can I paint and glue with the Hannah Montana set?" (I'm still amazed that Hannah Montana has the time and wherewith all to make glue, but there her picture is, all over the bottle!)
"Absolutely not, Kate. KATE please close the bathroom door."
Too late! Molly had already gotten back in and didn't I want a hippo tub toy to play with in the shower? No? How about a towel? Here's that hippo anyway.
Shower accomplished, the day began to get a bit hectic. Soon it began to snow and hats and gloves and scarves were needed ASAP and did I think that there was enough hot chocolate to go 'round and then from the neighbor child...
"Mrs. Gretchen, Kate is throwing snowballs at me."
"Well buddy, best thing to do is bob and weave I guess."
The look I got back from this 8 year-old snow-victim said, "But you are going to call her off, right?"
"KATE...IF YOU ARE PREPARED TO BE HIT WITH SNOWBALLS, KEEP THROWING, IF NOT...COOL IT!"
She decided that, in fact, she could dish it out but she couldn't take it and thus ended the snowball fight. Building a snow fort kept the whole crew busy until after dark. The evening that followed was a short one: soup, showers, and sleep.
After the kids were all tucked in I was able to get a better look at my new book. It is called The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett. The subtitle says, "The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession". So far it has been fascinating reading. It's all about the collecting and theft of rare books. From the book jacket:
Unrepentant book thief John Gilkey has stolen a fortune in rare books from around the country. Yet unlike most thieves, who steal for profit, Gilkey steals for love--the love of books. Perhaps equally obsessive, though, is Ken Sanders, the self-appointed bibliodetective driven to catch him. Sanders, a lifelong rare book collector and dealer turned amateur detective, will stop at nothing to catch the thief plaguing his trade.I've learned much in the first fifty or so pages. Did you know that a first edition The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss can sell for upwards of $8,000 or that a first edition of Pinocchio in Italian is worth about $80,000?
My favorite quote so far speaks about books as more than just pages that deliver a story. Bartlett asserts, "As much as they are vessels for stories (and poetry, reference information, etc.), books are historical artifacts and repositories for memories--we like to recall who gave books to us, where we were when we read them, how old we were, and so on." I agree.
I will remember The Man Who Loved Books Too Much as the book given to a woman who loves books too much by her husband who loves books too much on a day when their children almost proved to be much too much!