Loitering is My New Favourite Hobby

27 Aug

If there’s a single reason why I never learned to ride a bike or swim until what? two years ago?…It should probably be the fact that I spent half of my childhood with either a book or a remote in my little hands. What could I have possibly been watching/reading during these crucial years, I wouldn’t be able to tell you–it’s become but a blur of bad daytime PBS programming and whatever happened to pique my juvenile interests. But, it undoubtedly accounted for my questionably useful ability to give you a dozen synonyms for “buoyant”, and an embarrassing inability to be just that in a average sized body of water.

I made my parents take me to the public library every weekend, and would hold them hostage there until I made my rounds around the colossal three-storied building, picking up no less than a dozen little paperbacks to be devoured that week. I lived in maybe five different neighbourhoods since I was seven and loved a different library each time. But that huge library with the wrap around glass windows beside Fairview Mall (where afterwards, I would whine for the greasy fast food that every bratty child coveted) would always be my fondest.

I’m an english major now and I barely read anymore, not like I used to at least. When you spend the better part of the school year chiselling away at the formidable mountain of reading, you’d rather drink your way to the bottom of scary-big vodka bottle than to read to the end of yet another book. This summer has been good to me though. I’ve been getting back into the habit of just picking up something and reading it without thinking what I should be extracting from it and how much I would be striking off that to-read list. Almost every couple of days i’d prowl a chapters or indigo, sit on a ridiculously hard bench and finish a book for the most part before I leave. I’ve seen a lot of people doing the same and the shame of loafing around and looking cheap is pretty damn near undetectable by now. Maybe it’s because my family always had a habit of going to libraries instead of buying books, or maybe the aversion to purchasing books preceded the habit itself. Regardless, I grew up in libraries and will always be wary of buying a book with the exception of a few classics and books i’ve read once and loved enough to keep a copy of. I thought at first it’s the cheapskate-factor but really, who are we kidding? I’m appalling with money and expected to be bankrupt well before the age of 30 by current projections. It begs the question why I would sooner drop a grand on useless trinkets and do more damage at a Sephora than to shell out twenty five bucks for a Michael Ondaatje hardcover. Simply, clothes, cosmetics, accessories, trinkets and other doodads which I’m ever fond of, are meant to be owned, meant to be used over and again until they become expended. I’m perfectly content to experience a book and put it back on its shelf for the next person. That being said, I really hope the world is not filled with the likes of me, the writer folk must be weeping behind their typewriters, or MacBooks.

So that this detour of an update isn’t completely off on a tangent, here are a couple of great food writers I’ve carried off to a corner to read a bit of at Indigo (yes, I’ve also pulled out my mac to write this and no, it’s not terribly tacky. Other people do it too!). They all encompass a field of writing where the experience of food is expressed in emotional and cultural terms, a field I think people are starting to pay attention to. Also, lately I’ve been indulging in beautiful cookbooks as well. The ones I bought the other day are fantastic references and even better for food porn pervs like yours truly.


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