Sunday, January 20, 2013

The End of a Chapter

When I read a book I always take note of how many pages there are in the chapter I’m beginning and bookmark its last page.  I don’t know exactly why I do that; but as I rarely put a book down in the middle of a chapter, perhaps it’s that I like to know what I’m in for!  

A 3-page chapter? 5 pages? 40?  I can read several chapters like that at a sitting.   
140 pages? I think I’ll wait until morning….

As I read, I sometimes look ahead to see how many pages are left in the chapter and feel a sense of accomplishment when I reach it, as if it were a job well done.   Then I can close my book with satisfaction and move on to my next activity.

Of course, the best chapters don’t always cooperate.  They're the ones that raise questions that make one especially eager to start the next chapter.  In such cases I know that I won’t be able to sleep – or do anything else! – so I stay up and read the following chapter, however long it is, until I’ve finished it.  And so on and on….  As you can imagine, this results in many, many late nights for me!

In my recent post on The Willing Suspension of Disbelief, I wrote that I’d had an accident that resulted in a break to my left wrist.  After surgery and months of physical therapy I felt better;  I was back in the Berkshires and ready to reopen my book store for the summer season.

But that was not to be….

I had another accident that was far more serious than merely breaking my wrist (although I did that, too!).

So:  another surgery and more physical therapy…and my store remained closed.

During that time it occurred to me that perhaps this accident signaled “the end of a chapter” for me – I guess I'd missed that first signal back in June! – and I’ve decided to close my store.

This coming spring and summer I'm going to have a big sale of all the things in my store – books, artwork, library antiques, art, furniture.  Everything!  Watch for it.

The years at Farshaw’s have been happy ones for me, so it’s not without some sadness that I leave it now.  But the end of a chapter also signals the beginning of the next, and I'm looking forward to that. I don’t know exactly what my next chapter will be, but I have lots of ideas and am very excited about the new adventures -- the new chapters! -- that are ahead.  Stay tuned.

And until next time, I wish all of you very happy [bedtime] reading, however you choose to do it! 


P. J. Grath said...

Many years ago, dear Helen, I imagined that the first time we met in person would be the day I'd walk unannounced into your Berkshires bookstore. As it turned out, you invited me to Arizona, and the first time I saw you you were sitting there in the airport, knitting, knowing I would recognize you right away. Well, you know that I wish you nothing but the best in the chapters to come in your life. You are a very special, beautiful, talented, lovely person, and all good things should come your way!

Marash Girl said...

Yikes! You can't close the store! Where will you house your wonderful collections then?

Daniel W said...

I do the same thing with chapters! I love all their shapes and sizes. Interesting side note: addicts kicking drugs have been known to describe the stages of feverish levels of detox as "feeling like chapters."