Dinner and a Book

My behavior is nonetheless, deplorable. Unfortunately, I’m quite prone to such bouts of deplorability–take for instance, my fondness for reading books at the dinner table. – Brandon Sanderson, The Final Empire

For some time, I’ve been heading out just about once a week after I close the store to enjoy a nice dinner with a book – Dinner and a Book. It serves as some quiet time to enjoy the meal and whatever book I am currently reading. From a sit-down dinner to a picnic, or eating in my car, to take-out.

It all started as a form of self-care. My life has turned upside down and I needed to find a space in it for me. It gives me something to look forward to. I choose the restaurant based on my mood. Or sometimes on the book I’m reading at the time. England-based I go for either a good curry or fish & chip, right?

I love reading. I love good food. I love going out to dinner. And I don’t mind going by myself. It’s not a lonely venture. Can one actually be alone while reading a book?

Some have asked to join me to which I answer with of course but you will have to bring a book.

I must say, interesting the reactions I receive from a host or hostess. There was one local restaurant as soon as she saw I was carrying a book she exclaimed that she knew just where to seat me where I wouldn’t be distracted and have great lighting. Wow! She got it. One establishment when I asked for a bottled condiment, he slid it across the table where it hit my book. I gave him the ‘mother stare’. All in all, Middlebury offers great spaces to read and I’m figuring out the best tables with adequate lighting.

Life as a used bookstore owner is going fine. OCUB has been busy. Boxes of books are constantly coming in. Arranging and rearranging is ongoing to fit the books on the shelves. Shuffling shelves is continuous. Stacks of books are patiently waiting to have their jackets covered is ever-growing. I get the stack down only to add to it.

Beckett has gone off to his summer job but has promised to return in the fall. Gavin will be here for the summer. Also a Midd College student. Henry will be here again in a few weeks to pitch in as well as a pair of high school students. Yes, I’m looking forward to all the much needed help. It’ll be nice not having to do everything.

Reading at meals is considered rude in polite society, but if you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. – Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.


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