Monday, November 11, 2013

Random Reading Recommendations or The Old Geiser's Guide to Books for Anna

Last Saturday, I was at my local library gleefully checking out books with my husband when we noticed to our utter delight that A BOOK SALE WAS OCCURRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This, next to hikes in the National Parks, chocolate, kittens, and Labradors, is the best thing in the world. Naturally, we went by for a look-see. Naturally-er, we bought about ten books.

While I was there, rummaging through a box labeled "non-fiction hardback" ($1 each!!!!!), a random older gentleman approached me with a book in his hand.

"You might find this interesting," he said. "It's a first edition 1909 copy about a woman basketball player."

Nodding politely and feigning interest, I took the book from him (only to put it down later when he was gone, seeing as I am not at all interested in basketball, female or otherwise). This is not the first time a random older gentleman has politely directed me toward a book about women and I am left wondering: is this happening to other people as well????

Another recent example occurred early this summer, when we were in Seattle. Visiting the Flying Heritage Collection, a small, well-organized airplane museum, one of the volunteer docents approached me and directed me to their only female-themed exhibit: The Night Witches. An actually fascinating story, The Night Witches were young Russian women who, during World War II, flew bi-planes at night over German camps to terrify the troops.

So, ok. Thank you random old guy for guiding me to learn about something interesting. I am not wholly unappreciative. But I do notice there is a theme here: Older Gentleman Sees Young(ish) Woman And Impulsively Directs Her Toward Female-Centric Book, Exhibit, Etc.

I'm not sure what to make of this. These aren't perverts here. And they all seem genuinely invested in whatever they are recommending to me. And hey, I like to talk books with just about anyone. Trying not to have my indignant feminist head get carried away with the fact that they aren't exactly recommending books about locomotives or space travel, I also recognize they aren't directing me to the cookbooks either. So what's a young(ish) book-loving woman to do?
Maybe nothing. Maybe just sit back and observe what people think I might be interested in. Maybe next time it'll be a book on UFOs or stingrays or alien stingrays on UFOs. And that would probably be even more baffling.

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