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Wolfe at the door June 13, 2008

Posted by Peeps in Home, random stuff, What we're reading.

I love books. Reading is one of the greater joys in my life. Books are constant companions that provide me with thousands of delightful places to visit. It’s very seldom I leave the house without a book in my hand, on the off chance that I have a few minutes to myself with nothing to do.

Libraries are some of my favorite places to go. Besides liquor stores. Old friends live in libraries, along with new friends waiting to be discovered. The smell of old paper can be as wonderful as a mature Bordeaux. And libraries are free!

Unfortunately, the best library around here is not in a direction that I normally go when I’m running around town. And with gas prices being what they are, special trips that way are not high on the list. Which leaves me to fall back on what’s in the house.

Now, I ran out of room for storing books in the house about fifteen years ago. Not that I let little things like that stop me. Most of the shelves are two and three deep with other books piled on top. So, it’s not tough to survive without having to go anywhere.

Now, I’ve met people that only read non-fiction. Whatever, fine. I’ve also met people who only read literature. Hey, more power to you. I read crap. Popular stuff. Books without “significance”. I hate significance. It bores the snot out of me. I want to be entertained. I want to be taken away to somewhere wonderful.

A couple weeks ago, I started rereading Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books. I love Wolfe. He’s everything I’ve dreamed about being. He’s a genius. He lives life the way he wants to. He uses the English language the way it should be used. He cannot be pushed around. Of course, that’s partly because he’s so fat. Still.

And there’s Archie. A man’s man. Smart, tough, ready for action. Archie can charm a client, be flippant with the police, knock the bad guy on his butt, and dance the night away with just about any woman he chooses.

Wolfe’s house is a place I’ve wanted to go to since the very first time I read about him. I would dearly love to see him work in person. I would very much enjoy having a meal with him, and do my best to keep up with the conversation.

Thankfully, there are lots and lots of Wolfe stories to read. They span almost fifty years, but neither Wolfe nor Archie ever change. The books are not loaded with deep inner meaning, thank goodness. But reading them will help your vocabulary. How can you not love a character who burns a dictionary because he thinks it’s subversive?

Bringing Wolfe back into my life has also caused me to take a look at another book on my shelves lately. This one. I might have to try a few things and report back.

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