As soon as my grades were submitted this afternoon, I joined my fellow English teachers for some celebratory drinks and a book swap at Small Bar in University Heights. I tend to avoid these types of gatherings, preferring the coziness of my own living room to forced banter with relative strangers, but as always, I ended up having a good time. I had never been to a book swap before, but it's a great way to share a book that you enjoyed and pick up something new. We just put all of our offerings into the middle of the table for people to peruse while be raised a Christmas glass, and everyone grabbed a book to take home on the way out. It was interesting to see which books people brought to trade. I was surprised and impressed to see that the most senior member of the department, the always dignified Mr. Brown, brought Tom Robbins' last novel, Villa Incognito. Something tells me Mr. Brown might have a tale or two to tell... I donated Life of Pi by Yann Martel to the swap and walked away with Vonnegut's Hocus Pocus, the book that inspired one of the tenth grade teachers to abandon engineering and change his major to English. It has now been added to the list of books that I want to read in the next year. Now that I am officially finished with grading for the next month or so, I just have to get through two more days of crowd control, and then I will have three blissful weeks to make a dent in my ever growing reading list.
Since I was in the old hood, I couldn't resist walking by the apartment where I used to live to see if the neighbors are still in the habit of bedazzling their yard for the holidays.