Last night was another lovely night in New York and it found me strolling homeward, through Bed-Stuy, admiring the architecture and feeling very full of delicious fried chicken when I suddenly stopped mid-stroll and cursed. I’d forgotten my tote bag back at the restaurant, a good 10 minute walk backward, away from the train that would take us back to our neighborhood.
This is very unlike me. Since I carry a tote with me, along with my purse, nearly every day, I don’t forget it. I use the tote to carry whatever book I’m reading, my lunch, my umbrella, and whatever other random detritus I accumulate in the course of the day. Luckily, my standard tote had gotten so soaked in the rainstorms on Monday that I’d left it at home to dry out, so the tote that got left was just a free bag I’d gotten at a reading a few weeks ago. Also luckily, this tote only had one thing in it–my book.
What was unlucky was that the book, Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book, was a book I’d started a few days ago and had just really been beginning to enjoy immensely. True, I’d picked up the book, a jacket-less hardcover, off the street back when I first moved to Brooklyn and our neighbors were getting rid of better books, but I think a book increases in value WHILE you’re reading it. There’s no other time that a book matters more to you, I’d argue.
Funnily enough, one of the friends I was with happens to be reading it too, and offered to let me borrow it when she’s finished. I will likely take her up on this offer, but I’m feeling lost and impatient without it. I suppose I could call the restaurant and go back and retrieve it, but it’s a trek, and both the book and the tote were free and easily replaceable. I could also buy my own copy–another simple alternative. I have options here. But it’s a rude awakening to be thrown out of your reading rhythm, especially when you’ve just gotten into the groove of whatever it is you’re reading, and you’re waiting to see what happens next. This book is the first novel I’ve read in a month or two that I’m finding myself really enjoying (I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut lately), so this was quite a blow.
Has anyone else had this experience of losing the book you’re currently reading? What did you do? Did you feel this sense of loss, or am I just a really big weirdo?