Thursday, July 19, 2018

Into the Woods with a Good Book #amreading

by Giselle Renarde

I have a little ritual I repeat from year to year.

Every year when we arrive at the cottage, the first thing I do is peruse the bookshelves.

The cottage is not our cottage, and so the books are not ours. The owners of the cottage are avid readers (of literary fiction in particular), and their new books quickly carve a path to the cottage bookshelves.

But, among the newer books are a host of older ones, the jazz standards of the cottage bookshelves. They're always there and I never tire of seeing them. Plenty of Canadian fiction: Robertson Davies, Stephen Leacock, Margaret Laurence.

A few years ago I read A Bird in the House. This year it was A Jest of God.

There's a reason I don't bring my own books to the cottage: I'm generally a slow reader, and choosing a book from the owners' shelves challenges me to read the entire thing in the span of a week.

You can't take it with you--the book, that is. This isn't a lending library.

So I spend the week reading.

At home, I start every day with a book. Now that I've kicked coffee, I brew a cup of tea and I sit and read for a while. But at the cottage that while stretches out, fills much of the day. Reading, eating, board games, DVDs at night. That's a family vacation at the cottage, and it's really something special.
If you'd like the inside scoop on this year's cottage vacation, I invite you to read my second book of correspondences, Hi Babe. It's just a little book of letters, the ones I wrote to my girlfriend while I was away.

This year's vacation was more eventful than relaxing--not at all what I'm looking for at the cottage. As much as I complain about the city, our family getaway proved that life follows you wherever you go. It even follows you into the woods.

Thank you, technology.

If you're at all interested, grab a copy this month from Smashwords, where you can get it for free during July's big ebook sale:



  1. So you rent the same cottage every year?

    I find there's a bit of a voyeuristic thrill in surveying other people's books.

  2. You're very lucky in the literary choices of the owners of the cottage! I never found much of interest in rented cottages back when I was visiting them, which was quite a long time ago. I've owned a get-away cabin myself for over twenty years, and yes, guests and family have left books, but nothing that appeals to me. Well, my daughter-in-law buys books with local interest on purpose to leave there, but her taste runs to how-many-people-have died-on-Mt. Washington, so I don't read them often. This isn't say that my family members don't read books, although their taste runs to science fiction and fantasy and historical biography, but they don't leave those books behind. My granddaughter is a voracious reader at twelve, but doesn't leave her books behind at all. In fact she's discovered fanfic, and spends more time now writing it and some occasional original bits than playing video games. She won't let anyone in the family read her work, but I've told her that if I see a call for submissions from young writers, I'll let her know, and see if she wants to try submitting. I do see such things once in a very long while.


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