Friday, December 18, 2009

Of Local "Grace"

In my first post, I promised to talk about books and food. Since I have covered the latter, I'd best deliver on the former. (latter and former, I always get them mixed up. I think got it right this time.)

I have the tendency to buy books with the intention of reading them soon while knowing that the pile of books to be read "soon" is steadily growing. Though fully aware of this habit, I buy books anyway. Today was no exception. After work today I headed down to Harvard Square to finish my Christmas shopping. I'm proud to say that I did finish my shopping and only bought one (okay, two if you count that pot of tea) thing for myself:
Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

Kristin Cashore was on of the many generous authors who agreed to write a rousing pep talk for this year's NaNoWriMo. I enjoyed her pep talk enough to venture onto her website to see what books she has written. To my great joy, her first book is a YA fantasy, the very genera of my own novel! I'm always on the look out for promising YA fantasy (and welcome recommendations) so I mentally took note of her book for future purchase. It didn't hurt that she is a local author; I'm a sucker for my own Bostonian pride.

I never expected to get her book so soon, but I happened to be in the Curious George Bookstore for old time's sake and saw it on the shelf. Remembering my promise to myself and wanting to support my favorite children's bookstore, I purchased
Graceling right then and there. I also wanted to get Shannon Hale's Princess Academy but they did not have it. Sadness!

Even though I'm in the middle of reading
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (which I feel bad about not paying more attention to), I stared Graceling while drinking my tea at Tealuxe. Several hours later, I'm almost 100 pages in and wanting to read more. I haven't been this compelled by a book in a long time, so I'm very pleased. I'm loving the world and the characters, even though some parts are, dare I say, disappointingly cliche. Gracelings having mismatching eye colors? Really? I do like that it's a gradual change that parents watch for wearily, but it's very middle grade. But I guess that's the primary audience, isn't it? My little nit picks aside, it's an enjoyable read so far and I will likely finish it within the week. It'll be a welcomed distraction from the internet.

One more thing I'd like to chatter about, dear reader, is why I name drop the stores I visit so much. Have you ever heard the phrase "think globally, act locally"? (apparently it has a wikipedia page) I first started thinking about this concept in terms of food and supporting local growers because I liked the quality and comfort of knowing where (some) of my food comes from. I have since begun thinking about this phrase in terms of economy. Where does the money go when I buy books from Amazon? To wherever it is Amazon is located. Does this help my local economy? Not really. This is not to say that I don't shop at national chains. I like to buy books and food from local businesses when I can. Though this means I sometimes pay more than I might at a large chain store, I think of it as my silent vote about what sort of shops should continue to do business. I'm not trying to sell you on these places, I just want you to know that they exist. If they interest you, please visit their website, or even better, go into the store and take a look at what they have to offer.

This is all.
Formally yours,
Darth Formal

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