Just for fun: if you would like to enjoy a little bookshop-themed music as background for tonight’s post from one of Vernon’s fave bands, cmd/click here.

I arrived at the hospital early today, thinking if Vernon wasn’t in an “entertaining mood,” I’d catch up on a little light summer reading.  These are some wonderful books that people have passed my way lately.  And really, what is more fascinating then the human brain?

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Thank you, mysterious gifter, for this last book, btw. Looks like a great and easy-to-read guide.

I was restless at the hospital. Yesterday, Vernon’s active time was in the morning (when I was working elsewhere) and so I missed out on the fun in the afternoon.  Today I got there early, but he was tired, so I felt annoyed that he wasn’t ready to work. I figured I might as well do something with myself, where I wasn’t as focused on his timing or situation.

So I took a field trip to a nearby bookstore.  I wanted to read, to learn, but not in the hospital room. I needed a break as much as Vernon.

I’m ashamed to admit it has been a long time since I’ve hung out in a proper bookstore. Mostly because there aren’t as many as there used to be.  This Barnes and Noble was a little out of the way, but worth it.

When I got there, I just wanted to watch people that were standing still, not on their phones. I almost felt like I was on a layaway at an airport between journeys. What would I do with my time?  Watch people. Wonder where they were going?  Look at magazines.

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But it really did feel like a trip to a faraway place. How surreal life has become that a visit to a bookshop filled with strangers becomes like a refreshing outing to another city.

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Maybe I was just surprised to find that people still read books. I’m not shaming, I know how hard it is to find the time.

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I found myself so curious about everyone I saw. Just like I am at the hospital. What are they here for? What is going on in that mind? Where are they hoping to go next? All these wonderful brains getting fed…

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“I love walking into a bookstore. Its like all my friends are sitting on shelves, waving their pages at me.”

Tahereh Mafi

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Of course when I focused on books instead of people, I found myself in the science section.  (Until this season, a no-go zone.) I don’t know exactly what I want to learn yet, but it has something to do with brains and comas and recovery.  I was happy to discover just a corner on the brain-book market. My favorite title today (no picture, sadly) was “Neurosurgery for Dummies.” Can you imagine seeing that on your doctor’s shelf?

photo 4 I just skimmed a few of these tomes, but one thing that kept popping out is that how much healing is done when the brain is kept quiet for some time.  Another thing that stood out was how many people discover a deep spiritual awareness and personal-bettering after serious brain trauma.

We will have to wait for Vernon to tell us his opinions on these points, but I have a feeling it will be worth the wait. A friend even suggested later today that maybe part of the reason he is taking so long to come back to our normal life is that what he is experiencing is actually very special and too valuable to rush. That certainly gives pause for thought.

I didn’t actually buy a book in the end, but did leave with this souvenir mug:

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Couldn’t have said it better myself.

And when I did get back to the hospital I was glad I’d taken the break, because Vernon and I were both ready to focus on work together again. He was ready to start moving his hands and follow directions and I had the patience and hope again…and there was no place I’d rather be than with him and his progress.

Everywhere I have sought peace and not found it, except in a corner with a book.” 
― Thomas a Kempis 


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