What do you do with your time when the weather outside hovers between 103 and 109? For the past several weeks, it was and still is too hot to do yard work, as in mowing, pulling weeds, and sundry other outdoor tasks.
Since you rarely leave the house and weeks go by before you turn on the television. It is logical to assume that this avid reader gobbles up books one after another as fast as she can. Sometimes, she reads three, four, or five books a day.
During one such book gobble-fest, she read until 5:30 in the morning. You see, she stumbled upon a fourteen-book series and could not stop reading.
Those of you familiar with Goodreads, probably know one of the many perks it offers is it keeps track of the number of books and pages you have read up to any given time. Consequently and to date, the book gobbler finished reading 49,913 pages across 209 books.
However, the total number of books read is not accurate because Goodreads lumps together single books and boxed set, counting them as one book. Several of the boxed sets this reader finished included four to six volumes per set. As a result, a closer and more accurate book count hovers around 220, and possibly more.
Were you to visit this lady’s home; you would find books everywhere. Many are on the bookshelves in every room of her house. But, there are some unfinished tomes she reads at different times of the day.
For example, this writer never leaves the house without the Kindle in her purse. Before e-readers appeared in our lives, she carried real books. It was not unusual to see her standing in a line at the post office or some busy store reading a book to pass the time. Besides, reading is so much better than grumbling about the time spent in the line.
The one problem with electronic devices is it takes longer to fall asleep, especially if you read a back-lit e-reader close to bedtime. Apparently, those convenient compact e-readers lead to poor quality sleep causing you to wake up tired.
Consequently, on the bedside table is Milton Cross’ Complete Stories of the Grand Operas. Since the book covers 75 operas, she usually reads one opera each night. Reading an actual book makes it easier to fall asleep.
Aside from the names of the composer, the dates of their births and deaths caught her attention. For example, Mozart lived from 1756 – 1791. There he was composing music for the emperor while what would eventually become the United States of America was still in diapers, and we do not mean Pampers.
Once the lady started to think about timelines, it was a slippery slope down the rabbit hole of insatiable curiosity.
The stories of some operas, such as Othello, were operatic versions of Shakespeare’s play. So, during the time explorers from the Old World crawled all over the North and South American Continents, seeking gold, spreading their germs, and diseases across the land, things were more civilized across the pond.
Queen Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603) ruled England. And as often happens, significant historical figures’ lives intersect. The English playwright, poet, and actor, William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616), regarded by many as the greatest writer in the English language, also lived back then.
While our revolutionary army fought the British to gain their independence from England, and the Declaration of Independence and Constitution helped forge this country, Ludwig von Beethoven (1770 – 1827) wrote his magnificent music.
Despite our hard-fought independence from the tyranny of royals, Americans and Europeans as well still slobber over royalty. Once the Romanovs lost power in Russia, the remaining Romanovs fled to Europe and lived off the benevolence of people still dazzled by titles, such as Princess or Prince, Duke or Duchess. In essence, they were the royal versions of welfare.
You would think that people would eventually grow tired of the royal moochers, but it seems title overrides common sense and self-preservation.
Timeline curiosity is a perfect hobby, correcting our myopic world view.