The Great Book-Buying Fast, Day 10

We’re having our house painted on the interior—the whole thing, so my personal space has been utterly invaded by strangers. It’s…awkward. I’m a busy person. I don’t like to stop moving much, unless I’m engrossed in reading. These days of being housebound, but unable to move freely in and out of my familiar chores and routines (and the rooms of my house, for that matter) have been taxing. I feel like an unwitting participant in some strange thought experiment to see how the body reacts under unusual types of stress. I think the worst part of it all is that I’m sitting here, mostly in one spot while the painters work diligently and tirelessly, painting my house. Well, no, that’s not the worst part; I have two children with cabin fever who are driving me to drink. It’s been raining and cold for two days straight, which means they’re cooped up inside with me. We can’t even go out and tend the garden or go for walks. It’s intense. But how is all this related to my book buying fast? Well, the one thing I could most certainly do with myself while all this painting and children bouncing off of each other and the walls nonsense is going on is BUY BOOKS! Oh, it would be such a soul soother. But, no. I’m going to stick with the plan, whatever trial comes about. I really believe that I have something to learn from this.

Later…

It seems the gods are working in my favor, today. At about 6pm, the doorbell rang. Eager husband and children all scurried to the door to find—shock and awe—a package addressed to me. “Mo-om, it’s books for you!” Ooh, really? That’s exciting! I don’t know what it could be. By this point in my fast, the stream of pre-April book orders has slowed to a trickle. I wasn’t expecting anything today. But, miraculously, books arrived on my doorstep. The return address read “The Hachette Group” and the padded envelope was ripped at the side, leaving space for two hardcovers to spill out in my lap as I knelt in the entryway to open it. With loved ones standing over me, my facial expression shifted from confusion to surprise to elation and back to confusion again in the span of a few seconds. Did I pre-order this? Did I win a giveaway? Did a Litsy friend send this to me? On the day of release, I received Madeline Miller’s new book, Circe, along with a 75th anniversary edition of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology and the cutest little ceramic replica of that famous Greek-inspired New York coffee cup. I was stunned.

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Fortunately, my sleuthing skills are up to snuff and it only took some quick googling and email searching to find the source of the mystery gift. Apparently, I entered a giveaway back in November of last year—and won! What a delight. After a day spent in stubborn resolve against boredom-induced book-buying, I feel like I was rewarded with a most beautiful gift. Did I mention how much I had been longing to get hold of a copy of Circe? The hype is real! And I also must mention how perfectly timed the reception of Mythology was. I’ve been slowly adventuring my way through Emily Wilson’s new translation of The Odyssey and kept thinking how I really needed to brush up on my mythology. Et voila! I’m a bit overwhelmed by the serendipity of it. I’m feeling all sorts of grateful and joyful right now. And one thing’s for sure—I am going to be ready to teach that homeschool unit on Ancient Greece in May!

My extra special thanks to the Hachette Book Group, Little, Brown and Company, and Black Dog & Leventhal for the tremendous giveaway.

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