The Summer We Read Austen

Thursday, August 4, 2016

It all started with the novel The Summer We Read Gatsby*. 

But, by the time it was over, it would be more accurately called The Summer We Read Austen.

And read.

And read.

And read.

Don't misunderstand me, I read lots of other books this summer that weren't Austen or Austen-related. (In fact, in the next week or two I plan to devote an entire post to quotes and passages I enjoyed in all sorts of novels I read this summer; however, it'll take a while because I took pictures of all the pages with words I loved throughout the summer and am just now realizing just how many there are. It'll take a little while to organize it all!) But, for the majority of the summer, I was surrounded by Darcy and Elizabeth and Knightley and Emma and Wentworth and Anne.

And I loved every minute of it.

Truly, one of my biggest sources of entertainment this summer was to curl up with a glass of wine and my laptop in the evenings, and put a bunch of books I wanted on hold on my library account. (Getting crazy, I know!) One morning, as I was going to pick up my newest stack of 10, it occurred to me that every single one of those books was Austen-related. Imagine my surprise when my next stack of 10 also happened to be strictly Jane. And I wasn't the only one who noticed.

Librarian: "Oh I remember you from last week. I admire your commitment to Jane Austen."

Thanks. :)

I don't know what it is about her, guys. I know I've tried to explain it before, and I can't really, so I'm not going to try again. I think in a lot of ways I see her books in the same way I see old movies: they're like comfortable old friends who, when you visit, you know you'll learn something, hear something to give you hope, and you'll part happily.

This past Saturday afternoon, I was reading Dear Mr. Knighley (great book) when my phone rang. It was Snicks's Charleston doctor, who was calling to tell me his blood test results. His full story is for another day, but, basically, the doctor told me they could find nothing in his blood that would cause his current health problems and that her next step of action would be to put him under anesthesia, file his teeth down, explore his mouth, and take a urine sample. She had really not been wanting to put him under because anesthesia is really hard on rabbits, and Snicks's case is especially complicated because he is old, little, and in poor health. Our conversation made me sad and a little nervous, so did what I do best, and I turned back to my books. And I looked at the stack I had left, and I realized I had no more Austen books in the stack, and I just couldn't take Snickers to the doctor for surgery on Wednesday without Jane Austen. So I went online to my library account and put a few more on hold and went and picked them up Monday. I don't know. I just felt better.

Do you have things like this in your life? Comfort things? I hope you do. I bet you do.

And, as much as I am pumped to go back to school because I miss my students so much, it will be hard to abandon my whole-day reading habit I got into this summer. So I got a little something to take with me:

I like having it on my desk. I do very much like ridiculous things! And it goes with the Mame theme and the year theme, too, I think.

I don't know friends. I feel like there's a lot more I wanted to say here, but worrying about Snickers is taking up most of my brain energy right now. I'll trust you'll understand what I'm saying anyways.

And, lest you start to be afraid this is turning into a Jane Austen devotional blog (not that there's anything wrong with that!), it isn't. Expect upcoming posts on what I learned about myself through novels; God's favorite rabbit, Baby Snickers; and a new thought on living like Auntie Mame.

Thanks for sticking with me, friends.

*Incidentally, I got this book from the library shelf because I thought it looked good. Imagine my surprise when, moving my books to a new bookshelf I assembled this summer, I saw the exact same book on my shelf. Yep. I checked a book out of the library I already had at home. 

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