I have always had a love for books, especially those that were full of adventure and mystery. The Hardy Boys first mesmerized me when I was nine with their adventures. I remember running “pell-mell” in our back yard with my friends. Then came Stephen King and his own unique kind of crazy. When I got into high school I traveled with Kerouac, the Merry Pranksters, and the Hells Angels as they each created their own individual kind of mayhem. And I devoured them all.
I remember scouring the shelves in book stores looking for something to read. I usually didn’t stray much from the familiar, but at times I would take a leap of faith and read something from a genre that I wasn’t familiar with or maybe just didn’t like. For me at that age that was a big deal. These days I’ll read just about anything.
I remember the smell of new books and how it was almost intoxicating. I remember folding the crease of the page that I left off on instead of using a bookmark. I also remember putting books down and then spending hours trying to find them. I never read one book at a time. If I saw a book I wanted to read, I bought it and started reading that one as well.
Today, however, things have changed greatly. My Kindle has sanitized the entire process of reading. No more browsing through a bookstore or feeling the texture of the pages as you become part of the story. No more creased pages or paper bookmarks. Now you’re only a click away from any book that you desire.
Personally, I think that it is sad that kids today may never experience the smell of a new book or enjoy the entire process of going to the bookstore and finding something to read. Technology has made it too easy. It seems that technology is doing this with everything.
The good thing is I will never run out of anything to read.
The Urban Dictionary defines Cabin Fever as: A type of hysteria brought on by spending too much time indoors.
It has now been forty-one days since I had surgery on my ankle. Due to the layout of our yard (it’s on a hill) and the steps leading in and out of my house, it has been next to impossible to leave my humble abode. That is where the Cabin Fever comes in. Being stuck in the house is no fun. The danger of doing nothing was, and is always there. You tend to get a little wacky sitting around. Luckily, I can say that I have had a lot of time to think and can tell you that I have learned many things over these last six weeks.
I have learned that:
No matter how many precautions you take when you are hiking, things will go wrong. Case in point being I was the third person in line the day I fractured my ankle. I heard my friend say to #2, “Watch out, it’s slippery, move to the left.” #2 then turned to me and said, “Watch out, it’s slippery, move to the left.” So what did I do? I moved to the left and still ended up with a busted ankle.
Even if you think that you drink a lot of water, drink more. I drink a lot of water. I mean a lot. But somehow I still ended up in renal failure. Think and Drink!!!!
At 53 , you can learn to speak another language. One of my biggest fears in coming home was that I would sit in front of the boob tube all day. I went ahead and bought Rosetta Stone and have been pleasantly surprised to find out that an old dog can learn new tricks!
I could rekindle my love of reading. Not that I sopped reading, but I have read more books this summer than I can remember. Old books, new books, short books and long books, nothing has been off limits!
Finally and most importantly:
If it hadn’t been for my friends, I would have been in serious trouble. They immediately knew that my ankle wasn’t the only issue and called 911 immediately. As my condition worsened, they didn’t panic and kept me calm. For this I am forever grateful!
Needless to say, these six weeks haven’t been easy. But by making decisions that would keep me moving mentally, it has lessened the effects of my perceived cabin fever.
“Old books exert a strange fascination for me — their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.”
At least a couple of times a year we head up to Hillsdale, NY to pay a visit to our favorite used bookstore, Rodgers Book Barn. Even though we have been heading north to look for books old and new for over two decades, searching for something to read in this unique little bookstore never gets old!
Over the years I have taken many picture of the Book Barn, but I can’t remember presenting them in B & W. Here are some of the Book Barn itself with a few of the surrounding property.
Located approximately one and a half hours from where I live in Mahopac, NY is one of the finest used bookstores that you will ever find. Tucked away in sleepy Hillsdale, NY, Rodgers Book Barn has been a destination of choice for bibliophiles since 1972. I know that I have been a regular visitor (3-4 times per year) since 1991 and have yet lost my desire to return year after year to see what has been added.
This out of the way gem reportedly has 50, 000 books, a claim that would be very hard to dispute, unless of course you decide that you want to count every book. Just check out the pictures of the interior that I have posted! The beauty of the Book Barn lies not in the fact that they have so many books, it is instead the layout of the Barn that promotes an atmosphere where it is ok to spend hours browsing the varied and eclectic titles that the owner, Maureen Rodgers offers. Although used, the books are all in pretty good shape and are only a few dollars a piece (at a maximum).
Just to let you know in advance, at the very least you will buy several books during your visit. I have found that it is impossible not to do so, and you will not be disappointed. From classics that you read twenty years ago to a new find, Rodgers Book Barn has books that you won’t find anywhere else. If the weather is nice, as it was when we went yesterday, you can hang out at one the tables outside of the Barn and peruse your purchases! A win-win all around.
For those of you who hike, I am also currently investigating several hikes in the area so you could do double duty and make a full day of it. Rain or shine, what could be better than a hike and an excellent used bookstore? Check back later for more details.