Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Fateful Trip to the Bookstore Brings Austen to Life

It was just supposed to be a trip to the grocery store...But when there is a decent-sized Coles in the mall, a run down to grab a People magazine turns into a desire to nab "maybe just one" book.  I scanned the Margaret Atwood novels, uncertain about which one to try, and racking my brain to remember what the general reviews were for Handmaid's Tale, Oryx & Crake, or Cat's Eye (probably all 5-star), but that was just an excuse to not get carried away with purchases.

Thinking I had mustered the courage to simply pay for the magazine & get back to food shopping, I had to wait for a clerk.  And sitting right by the checkout was a display of classics.  Among them was the one book I've always been ashamed to have never read, English degree and all:  Pride & Prejudice.  *Gasp*  A hush falls over the book blogging community.  I'll wait while you catch your breath and think "My God, how has she lived till now?"

It was a simple paperback edition for only $5.  It was a no-brainer.  The manager of the store, who (whom?  I always mix them up) I've known since I was 8 years old, spotted my choice & asked me to wait a minute.  At first, I wasn't sure if she was talking to me.  Then I pieced together something else she had said: "That's my favourite book."  Bingo.

Hello gorgeous.

She returns to me with a beautiful hardcover Prospero Books edition with the same pricetag.  After I comment on the gorgeous cover picture (a sketch of Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy that would look amazing in a charcoal print) and regal colours, she clinched the sale by pointing out the matching purple ribbon bookmark that comes from the top of the spine.  That sold it.

Admitting that an English degree holder and teacher has not read P&P was tough to spit out, but I said as much and justified it this way, which I still think is a fine line:

"At least I will get to experience reading it for the first time."

How many people can say that?  Being new to a beloved book is like joining a culture: at first it can be scary, foreign, uncertain, but soon you find yourself immersed in it, savouring it, and believing that you are all the better for experiencing it.  A romantic notion, but one that I fully trust in bringing a worthy, long-wished-for reading experience.

Has anyone else experienced an already much beloved book for the first time with such hope for it?


  1. Nice looking book. I hope you have better success with it than I did... was not my cup of tea.

    I find that having no expectations of a work, no matter how 'classic' it is, is the best way to go. I go to the extreme by not reading synopsis' or covers and quite frequently I have no idea what even the topic will be. It's an adventure before an adventure.

    Eclectic Indulgence

  2. That's a gorgeous copy! Have fun with Darcy and Bingley and the Bennett Gang!