Category Archives: reading

Coffee or Tea?

Some days, serious questions demand answers. Now, I’m a gal who loves her coffee. Ever since I went to college, I have my coffee. Every day. Seriously, each morning I start with a gigantic cup. I’m talking one of those cups that looks like half a pot. And that’s just the start. I love to sit in a coffee shop and write on my laptop. I frankly don’t care if my coffee is hot or cold. Often, I’ll sit down with a big cup of coffee and start writing, then I forget about the coffee and the next time I take a sip it’s cold. But that’s okay. I don’t mind at all.

Now, most of my friends are either coffee people or tea folk. I’m not talking the sweet iced tea most southerners drink with their barbecue. Most folks don’t usually fall on both sides of that proverbial fence. They like one or the other. Coffee or tea.

But the other day, I realized I am both. Is that weird?

When did my coffee devotion wane? I think maybe the first time, I started to stray was when I went to London and had high tea. When my kids were little, we started having tea parties in the afternoon, just little snacks and lemonade, even though we called it ‘tea.’ In the afternoons now, I prefer a spot of tea to coffee. Is that sacrilegious? Truly, there is not much better than tea with scones, muffins, and little finger sandwiches.

Then I realized the reason for my two loves. It makes perfect sense. Coffee accompanies my writer self. Together, the two go hand in hand. I need that jolt of caffeine in the morning to greet my manuscript and get to work. However, tea seems to be paired with reading. I love to sip tea and read. When my kids were little and we had tea together, we’d read poetry or a short story. Oh how I miss those days! Anyway, tea and books. Perfection.

So, what do you prefer? Coffee or tea? French roast or Earl Grey?

Right at Home in a Bookshop

So many places to go…so little time! If you’ve visited my blog or Facebook page, then you probably know that I love to travel. But I also love to take a bit of home with me along in my suitcase. And a bit of home to me consists of BOOKS! Of course I love books and my home is full of them. Way too many books to fit on my bookshelves. So when I travel, I carefully choose two or three…or five books to take with me. Yes, I also have the requisite e-reader, but I still love books. Actual books with pages and covers. Besides, if I’m flying anywhere, I have to have a book for the beginning and end of the flight when the airline makes you turn off all electrical devices.

Anywhere I travel, I have to also buy books. I know, I have a serious problem. Is there a rehab place for bookaholics? I usually buy books about a location or if I visit a art museum then I might need (yes, need) a book about all the wonderful art.

There is something about traveling and finding a bookshop, that makes me feel suddenly right at home. This summer when we visited Paris, I was anxious to visit the famous Shakespeare & Co. bookshop.

This bookshop has quite a history in Paris. It sits on the Left Bank. The original shop was opened by Sylvia Beach in the 1920s and was frequented by luminary writers such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce. It closed during the Nazi occupation in 1940. However, a second shop was opened in the 1950s and renamed Shakespeare & Co. in tribute to Sylvia Beach.

The day we visited it was raining and crowded but oh it was so much fun to be there with so many books, which are really old friends. Most of the books are in English, and the shelves are crammed full of so many titles. Tables with new releases made me sigh with longing. Tables with classics made me smile with pleasure. Upstairs, someone played the piano. This typewriter sat in front of a window.

When you buy a book at Shakespeare & Co., they will stamp the inside cover of your book with a lovely stamp. It makes a nice souvenir. Of course, we bought several.

What is your favorite bookshop to visit, far or near? Do you travel with books or with an e-reader?