Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dracula at Mount Washington

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if there is any left, I buy food and clothes".
- Desiderious Erasmus
I love used book sales. I like the idea of books rotating through a series of readers and can't understand how anyone can throw a book away! The Captain shares my love of books, so we are a dangerous pair at a book store and always head for the books at any tag sale. A used book sale is a cause for celebration.

All of those books need a place to live, so we recently added a couple of large bookcases to our library. They started out as unfinished wood - some stain and a couple of coats of butcher's wax and they looked as though they'd lived in an old library for years. (As of today, all of the artsy open areas in the bookcases are now crammed full of more books!)
I picked up an armful of books at a recent book sale at Phillips Exeter Academy, figuring these smart folks would have some good hand-me-downs. When we went to Mt. Washington recently, I stashed one in my bag. While the Captain was at a lecture, I decided to stay in our room and read. Imagine my surprise when I hauled out my book and found out it was about DRACULA! I bought it for the cover and obviously didn't read the fine print. I'm not a Dracula fan - not wild about any of the movies and can't understand the current vampire craze.

But, there I was with no other book, so I decided to give it a try. Picture this - I'm alone in a very old hotel, reading about Dracula and it starts pouring rain and then the wind starts howling, rattling the windows. I was doing OK until the lights started flickering off and on and then just went out. Did I have a moment when I wondered if maybe there was something to the idea of the "undead" - you bet I did!!
The book, The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova, was excellent! I'm always amazed at writers whose first book turns out to be a best seller. The story was full of intrigue, lots of discussion about old libraries, old books, old paper, old churches,travel, and yes, vampires. I love reading a good story that also is full of obscure information. I just bought her second book, (brand-new, so you know I'm serious about this author) and no, it's not about vampires.

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