Our Reading Lives

Happy Bookish Birthday To Me

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Husband: “Honey what do you want for your birthday.”

Me: “Three hours to read at a cafe by myself.”

Husband: “No, really, what do you want.”


Husband (frightened by my look of crazed craziness): “FINE. Fine. Ok.”

That, my friends, was the conversation you would have heard in the Cordasco household about a week before my birthday. I mean, it’s not really that hard to come up with a gift for me, since I broadcast all the time my love of books, chocolate, books, opera, crafting, and books. (Now, for instance, when my mom asks “do you want me to send you chocolate for your birthday” the question is just so ridiculous, I cry “no NO why would you send me chocolate I never eat the stuff eeww ewww how dare you send me something so deliciously wonderful” etc. etc.).

But back to m’husband. He understands that 364 days of the year, I’m tearing at least some of my hair out trying to deal with twin boys and an infant and keep the house in some sort of shape and read all the books, but one day, JUST ONE DAY OF THE YEAR, I’d like to sit and sip coffee and read. And breathe. And relax.


Some people go to a spa. Some go to the French Riviera. Some sit by a pool. I just want to sit and read a book for more than five seconds.

Well, the husband delivered on his promise and this past weekend I said to the kids “have fun with daddy! Mommy has important business for the next three hours” and I basically floated all the way to the nearest cafe with Tram 83 (just out from Deep Vellum). I got myself a cup of caffeinated goodness and just read. And read and read.

It’s amazing what can happen when you’re able to concentrate on reading for an extended period of time without interruption. I just let the book take over and found myself in the hyper, kaleidoscopic world of Tram 83 and for a bit there I was no longer in the cafe but the “City-State,” surrounded by noisy bar patrons and jazzy singing. It was a great way to encounter Mujila’s writing for the first time.

My brain, if it had been able to jump out of my skull and sit across the table from me, would have said, “Thank you. That was the equivalent of a healing mud bath.”

By the way, I did this same thing on Mother’s Day. Because books + a few hours to myself + coffee once in a while is good for the soul.