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Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Book a Day

In Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the omniscient narrator shares this about Francie Nolan early in the book:

"Francie thought that all the books in the world were in that library and she had a plan about reading all the books in the world. She was reading a book a day in alphabetical order and not skipping the dry ones. She remembered that the first author had been Abbott. She had been reading a book a day for a long time now and she was still in the B's. already she had read about bees and buffaloes, Bermuda vacations and Byzantine architecture. For all of her enthusiasm, she had to admit that some of the B's had been hard going. But Francie was a reader. She read everything she could find: trash, classics, time tables and the grocer's price list. Some of the reading had been wonderful: the Louisa May Alcott books for example. She planned to read all the books over again her she had finished with the Z's."

I am a reader, too. I have read a variety of things these past 16 days on vacation: the Undergound map, descriptions of artworks, memorials, menus in different languages, signs, poetry, people's and statues' expressions, information about events in museums. Not a book a day but some pages from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to keep me content. 

When I arrive at home much later today, that usual immersion in books will commence again. When I am back in the book-a-day routine, I will enjoy that same satisfaction Francie savors.

The photo is of part of The King's Library in the British Library, six stories of 65,000 books and 19,000 pamphlets of King Geogre III's collection. 


  1. we're awfully hard on George III here in the States. this image gives us a glimpse of the other side of George. welcome home. happy reading.

  2. Reading is a pastime that allows the mind to expand and the spirit rise in pleasure. I love the ideas you present from books you read. Today I'm going to be conscious of what I see and peruse. I've already read the tops of medicine bottles, label on a night light, a publication on the Santa Fe Spanish Market, Photo bogs, Internet gmails, Photo blog comments, jots in my daily calendar, and a pamphlet describing Taos Pueblo. And, I've only been up one hour!!