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April 5, 2020: You Wonder but don’t Wander

You glance over the far side of your standing desk, at the books that line your windowsill and dresser drawer top. They’re categorized, your areas of current interest being time travel, neuroscience, animal behavior, memoir, and outdoor adventure. A few children’s books are also in the mix. In addition, there are a pile of children and young adult books on the end table on the standing desk side of your walk-in closet. The bookcases to the left, and behind you are from your creative nonfiction collection. You are proud about the fact you have most of the “Best American Essay” series, including the first, highly coveted 1986 first edition.

In this sense, the recycling center closure has been a blessing. Your near daily sorting efforts yielded up to a dozen books at a time, books that you brought home and added to your growing collection. Sure, you gave an equal number of books to family members and friends; however, the books on your shelves and dressers (you think) are the best of the best. You recently estimated that it’ll take five years before you read what alone is on your windowsill and dresser. Had you taken in any more books, you would be deemed a hoarder.

Alys and Hrimmi

The best thing of all is that the so-called quarantine has provided you with more reading time. There just wasn’t time for this when you were on the job. You now read in the evenings, when previously, you wrote. You estimate that since January you’ve read between 75 and 100 books. You finish one and immediately start reading another, pausing just long enough to make note of stylistic changes, and changes in character. This has got you to wondering – will you continue to make the distinction between the various book’s characters, plots, and settings a few months from now?

It was good, you think, that the book project ground to a halt when it did because it was a good stopping point. You developed an organizational scheme and adhered to it. This scheme will serve you or whoever else might resume work; that is, when the time comes. The job also triggered some very obsessive behavior on your part. You just could not let the project go. When you weren’t working, you were thinking about working. Now that you’ve acknowledged this, you will take it into account when you resume your sorting, categorizing, and distribution efforts.

You have been putting your time to good use. You’ve finished one book and are waiting for Pete to proofread it. And you are now close to finishing a second book. When you finish this, you have some other unfinished books that for some time have required your attention.

Everything about the shut down has been to the Bright Light Book Project’s advantage. However, you can’t seem to shy away from the fact that you are feeling bereft. This was the first job that you ever had that you enjoyed. And you miss the VCRS Recycling Center staff something awful.

You’d feel better if you had some idea as to when things might return to normal and when you might return to work. But right now, no one seems to know anything. You are dealing the best you can, by doing what you do best, reading like you vote, early and often.

Next: 96. 4/6/20: The Woman who Runs with Horses

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