The relatively cool day (a high of a mere 93 degrees) was a pleasant change from the horrible weekend. I went out to drop the bills I still pay by mail in the mailbox down the road, stopping on the way to visit the Goodwill store's bookshelves and Trader Joe's. At the former I did find three books I thought worth buying, and since it was Tuesday I got the senior discount of 10%. I picked up a one-volume collection of Shakespeare (you are not allowed to be an English major if you don't have all of Shakespeare on your shelf, and the major is retroactively cancelled if you go more than a year without his works.) It isn't as good an edition as the two I lost to the fire (a 40-volume Yale and a one-volume Cambridge) but it will do.
The second book I bought was an old, one volume edition of the complete short stories of W. Somerset Maugham. "Complete" is a bit misleading in this case, as this edition was published in 1934, and Maugham lived until 1965, publishing much in the interim. I had a multi-volume paperback edition of his stories I bought back in the 1970s, which had somewhat larger print, and actually was complete, but I will surely enjoy dipping into this truncated hardbound volume, which is as dowdy as the south seas settings and characters Maugham wrote about in so many of his short works. It had been many years since I had seen the paperbacks that burned, as they were stuck in one of the unopened boxes in the garage. I went hunting for them several times but never found them, so I'm quite happy to have copies of at lest his earlier stories now, even if the typeface is a bit small and the book smells of, well, very old book.
The third book I bought is one I didn't have before and so didn't lose in the fire. It's a paperback copy of Joyce's "Dubliners." I've always wanted to read it but never got around to picking up a copy. I lost a number of other books by Joyce, but or now I think this one and the couple of his works I've got in recently bought anthologies will be sufficient to satisfy any Joyce jones that might come up. And Joyce Jones would make somebody a dandy pen name, wouldn't it?
After buying the books I went to Trader Joe's for milk, a giant chocolate bar, and a bottle of Kahlúa. A glass of Kahlúa and milk with a big chunk of chocolate makes a good bedtime snack, I've found. It can double as dessert when dinner has been very late, as mine was tonight. I didn't eat until one o'clock this morning, which is one reason this entry is so late. I've run seriously afoul of the clock recently. I should really try to do something about that. It's going to be a real problem when the days start getting much shorter. But right now I have to wash some dishes, then listen to my crickets for a while, then have my bedtime snack/dessert, and hopefully get to sleep before the sun comes up. Big day Wednesday. I make out my next shopping list. I hope I can endure the excitement.