My sister totally came through for me today. She arrived at my house with a stack of books. They include one that she feels every girl who grew up Christian ought to be able to say she has read (so I'm not sure why I haven't yet) some that will make me feel intellectual - you know, "Well I really enjoyed . . . .", and one because an author I admire says it is one of her favorite recent books. As soon as she handed them to me and told me all this, I added them to . . . the Nest. That's what Mom calls it. It's a trait I share with Dad - one Mom's had to deal with their entire married life. It's cool to realize you share something with your dad that sort of defines him for you - that is, if you like your dad - as I do. Dad loves to read, and when I picture him in his element, it's like a young Italian C.S. Lewis - (We are not even remotely Italian, but Dad's olive skin and dark hair just seem Italian to me) because he is surrounded by books - behind him on shelves, next to him on end tables, in front of him on a flat leather ottoman and open on his lap - or some more minimal combination of all that. He even has the reading glasses. It's very wonderful and Lewisy. The Nest is the stack of books and magazines he is currently reading, and it moves around with him from the bed to the living room to the office - so he can grab from it when the moments arise. My nest currently is in a big pink and lavendar gift bag from my birthday. It has two books I was working through that I now want to rush so I can move on to my sister's offerings, two InStyle magazines I haven't gotten around to yet, my journal, and a notebook in which I'm working on a novel - and by notebook I mean Mead - not Apple. I work on a computer eight hours a day for my paid gig, I can't bring myself to stay on it for the writing - not until revision time anyway. Although it's not the computer I tire of (that's a whole other post - my addiction to the computer). No, it's the chair and the home office. Those I just have to leave. So I'll gladly upgrade the Mead to an Apple when I can as I've finally outgrown the conviction that I can only be creative with paper and pen.
So anyway - The Nest is huge now, and I can't wait to get through it and then build it up again. That's one difference between Dad's nest and mine. He can remove a book from the nest and return it to the shelves if he feels he's read enough of it to get the gist. But once I've started a book I can't not finish it - even if I hate it. I rarely actually hate any book I pick up, but I have been bored by page 3 or apalled on page 27 on occasion. Still, I finish them every time. Well - there are a couple of exceptions. Those books take a break on the less portable nest - the little bookshelf by my bed. I still intend to finish them one day but, seriously, Billy Graham's autobiography is long.