A visit to Washington before Christmas had me staying at my favorite hotel.
My meetings were with book publishers and in fact a good portion of my life revolves around books - what's in them, how to make them, and how to make them more interesting - so how is it that, after all the times I've stayed at the Tabard, I never really took a closer look at all the: BOOKS?
Every room I have ever stayed in, as well as the hallways and sitting rooms, have one if not several bookshelves overflowing with books.
Perhaps I was never really curious about what I would find on the shelves because I always travel with at least TWO of my own books (in case I am not in the mood for one or the other). But this time I was traveling light, and before getting into bed decided to explore what was on the bookshelf in my room.
Were these books simply bought as a lot and placed here to look picturesque? Were some of them left here by previous guests, traded for another book on the shelf that the guest decided to pinch ... ?
Here's what I found:
The Plays of John Galsworthy
The Art of Rapid Reading, a 1929 instructional.
A Legislative Reference
Triumph and Tragedy
A volume on Roses
A volume on Roses
A three-volume text on Lincoln, from 1889, by "his friend and law partner William Herndon." I liked Herndon's dedication:
"To the men and women of America
who have grown up since his
tragic death, and who have yet
to learn the story of his life,
this record of
Abraham Lincoln's career
is faithfully inscribed."
But in the end I curled up with Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
"Everything in the unconscious seeks outward manifestation, and the personality, too, desires to evolve out of its unconscious conditions and to experience itself as a whole."