Monday, March 29, 2021

Choosing books for myself and my husband

There was a time Cliff would spend a whole winter day reading library books on my oldest iPad.  These days, he only reads when he spends his half-hour on the recumbent bike, or when he is waiting in the car for me while I'm shopping or waiting for an appointment somewhere.  His eyes bother him if he reads too much, so that may be why he doesn't read as much as he used to.  Or perhaps the pull of the Internet has a stronger magnetic field that lures him away (been there, done that).  Since he does read so infrequently, and I'm the one choosing books for him, this presents two problems:  First, the library only allows three weeks to read a book, then it automatically returns itself to the library.  I've managed this slight problem by only choosing books at least three years old, so there is usually a library copy available, and a good chance that he can renew his loan if he isn't finished in three weeks.  That way, if he hasn't finished the book in 3 weeks, I can simply check it out again for him.

Since I'm left with the job of choosing what he reads, I am beginning to understand his interests.  He just finished a book I had read and enjoyed, "We Were Rich and We Didn't Know it" By Tom Phelan.  It's a biography of a man's childhood in Ireland.  He liked it as much as I did.

My husband will sometimes read one of my John Sandford books for a change of pace, but he prefers non-fiction, especially biographies.  Yesterday he got on the bike with the iPad and found he had reached the end of his book; I was at church; so he got off the bike, because nobody can stand the boredom of an exercise bike unless he is reading a book or watching TV, something to pass the time.  In the car when he picked me up at church, he said, "I need a new book."  So this morning I surfed my way to the 2015 New York Times Best-seller list, because six-year-old books are no longer among best sellers.  I checked to make sure the library still had the book I was choosing; it was available, so I got it for him.  I'm pretty sure he'll enjoy it.  He seems to like books about generals and wars.  I choose my own books the same way, but mine are mostly fiction.  I very seldom end up with a book I don't like when I choose a former best seller with good ratings.  Amazon even tells me a little about the book, and whether it sounds like something I'd enjoy.   This is why I never cared for Amazon's free-to-read books:  They have never had the books I am looking for.    

Cliff does know how to return a digital book, and he can check a new book out.  But he doesn't type, so he's a slow surfer (one finger).  He would never have the patience to research his books and find something he's fairly certain to enjoy.  I don't mind looking for books for him; in some small way it's one way to pay him back for all those years he was working at a job and I was at home playing with my cows and bobby calves (male baby calves you buy from a dairy when they are 3 days old).  When I get grumpy with him (it happens), I remind myself once again of all the work he did while I was gardening, canning, or tending animals.  I didn't even consider what I was doing "work", because it was fun.  This is also why I'm so diligent to see that he has some money to spend on whatever he wants, these days.  I remember those weeks when he only had gas money to get to and from work. 

I just now got up and let Blue, the cat, inside to eat.  He isn't going to be much of a house cat now that spring is here.  He stays outside all day, hunting birds and moles.  Oh, and since I tilled the garden, he thinks he has the biggest, best sandbox ever.  He and Gabe frolic around me and have a blast when I'm in the garden.

Yesterday Blue was trying to catch a sparrow that was in a tree tormenting him.  He was almost at the top of the tree, trying his best.  Cliff got the rifle and shot the sparrow for him, which made his day.  About that time Gabe and I went outside, Gabe saw the cat eating something and ran over and got a bite of... sparrow?  I ran limped over and pried his mouth open to see.  He must have swallowed it, right?  Well, apparently he got a mouth full of feathers when I wasn't looking, because the next morning I went into my she-room (guest bedroom) and there were little bird feathers all over the carpet.  Schnauzers have that beard that somehow disguises the fact that they have a mouthful of something nasty, and he's always sneaking something in.  Usually, it's an entire mole, totally hidden in Gabe's mouth.

We're going to have a windy-but-sunny day, high of 72.  

I'll take it.

P.S.  I guess he's going to like the book I checked out for him.  It's five minutes to eight, and he's been reading since 7:30.  He was only checking to see if it would work for him, but he's still at it.  My work is done.  :D



  1. I wish I could read entire days by like I could when I was younger but like Cliff, I am unable to anymore. My problem is that I just get sleepy reading for long hours. If I stop now and then and do something else such as wash the dishes, or work in the garage for ten minutes and then go back at the reading, I'm fine... for awhile.

    Unlike Cliff, I have no problem picking out books according to my wife and my overloaded "to-be-read" bookshelf. If the world and all books in it were to end tomorrow, I probably have enough books in my house to last a decade or two and by then, I could go around and read some of my favorites that I have read before and saved on other bookcases for the remainder of my life. But as stated before, I fair amount of the rest of my life would be fighting off the urge to sleep.

  2. You are good wife, taking the time to pick out books for your husband. I'm able to get library books on my kindle now and I love it because they are free. I no longer have to wait until I get a gift card to eaad what ever I want to. It's absolutely free. If I don't happen to like it, I'm not out any money either, I simply choose a new one. Both your cat and your dog are hunters. That should keep you pest free for sure. Enjoy your beautiful day it's still cool yet here today, but tomorrow we may hit 70 degrees too.

    1. Yes, the library is the best part of reading on a device! They have ALL the books, and they are free. What a gift. I just got back from a 25 minute walk with Gabe, and looked at my garden, which is doing NOTHING. I may use the tiller on certain spots and start over.

  3. My late husband read magazines and the newspaper but wasn't into books. He didn't like to stay still and in the evenings preferred TV to reading. (I am the opposite) It seems like your system to choose his books works very well!

  4. I put a bunch of science fiction books for my husband on the 2nd Kindle I actually bought for myself as a back up. Wouldn't you know he keeps falling asleep within 15 minutes of starting to read?


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