Do you know how sometimes, one trails one’s fingers along the spines of books at the library, in a slightly dreamy state, but mostly excited about what one might read next, trying to gauge what one is in the mood for, a romance, a mystery, a thriller or drama perhaps, passing by all the well known and not so well known names and titles and then suddenly, for whatever reason, your finger stops and lingers on the spine of a certain book, author unknown (to you of course) and your mind which has kind of traipsed along ahead, doubles back and tries to focus on the title and make sense of it.
And then you pull the book out, slowly, ponderously, and pretend to read the synopsis knowing all the while, in your gut and the excited beating of your heart that, this is it! This is the one to read! You’ve found it, or maybe, the book has found you! And you cannot wait to get home and begin the journey…
Well, that is how I found the book I am going to read next.
Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow
On a lark. Sometimes, that is how one finds the best of things, isn’t it?
On a lark?
An excerpt from the book….
“He lived on Bedford street, near Chumley’s. First he gave me black coffee, and then poured gin in the same cup. “Well, you’re a nice looking enough fellow, Charlie,” he said to me. “Aren’t you a bit sly, maybe? I think you’re headed for early baldness. And such large emotional handsome eyes. But you certainly do love literature and that’s the main thing. You have sensibility,” he said. He was a pioneer in the use of this word. Sensibility later made it big. Humboldt was very kind. He introduced me to people in the Village and got me books to review. I always loved him….”