Library Stories: Speed Reading

Six random books sit in my lap, ranging in classic Dewey Decimal style from CD 330 (The Great Courses: Contemporary Economic Issues on CD) to 808 Our (The Onion's Our Dumb World).

There's also 404.2083 Pears (Raising a Bilingual Child by Dr. Barbara Pearson. And no, I'm not expecting.), 641.84 ('Wichcraft, a sandwich cookbook), and a book of essays from women about the people who beautify them, entitled Damage Control.

I was attracted to the last book on that list because I've always liked the idea of being a girly girl but I've never liked investing the time. (For example, last week when I was working like mad to finish my video for the film festival, primping, shaving, tweezing et al. were the first to be sacrificed in the name of time management. It wasn't a pretty week.)

But I loved reading the stories of those women who have made the time, like Minnie Driver's Understanding My Hair, where she desperately tries to tame her curls as a youth, and Maysan Haydar's ancient Arab recipe for homemade body wax in Permanent: The Persistence of Arab Beauty Rituals.

The sweetest thing in this book is in the introduction by editor Emma Forrest, quoting a make up artist from an episode of Nip/Tuck (actually make that the second sweetest thing after the notice that all author proceeds from first-run sales would go to Women for Women International):
"The only peace in a women's day is the twenty minutes when she's getting her toes done, or her fingernails done. The only time she has when someone else is completely focusing on her. One of those rare opportunities when someone's looking her in the eyes, and seeing what she needs."
Damage Control was mislabeled as fiction (irony noted) where I stumbled across it as I re-shelved popular novels. I've got a dining room table full of even more library books that I for some reason or another just had to take home with me during my first week on the job. I can't possibly read every book that piques my interest, but here's to trying.

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