Friday, June 22, 2007
"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson
I visited the Library of Congress when we were in Washington, DC. What a thrill. "Just think, I've downloaded your records for years and now here I am."
NOTHING prepared me for the beauty of that space. I was stunned and stupefied at the color, themes and unyielding marble surfaces. (I think my feet and legs suffered more from that visit than any other trek on our visit.)
Book shopping in DC
The entling ran out of reading material early on so we visited the very nice B. Dalton in Union Station when we passed through to get her a quick reading refill.
Whenever there was a lull in the action, "OMG, I cannot take another step!" (My level of physical fitness makes a couch potato look like an Olympic athlete) the entling would happily whip out her book while I recovered.
The estimable Sprite Writes also alerted us to Politics and Prose. We rode the bus to the shop and spent a wonderful hour-plus, roaming the store. The children's books are downstairs. The lovely lady helping folks absolutely knew her stuff. I should have found out her name. While I was there, a mother and daughter, with a basket, were buying summer reading. Don't you just love to see parents just piling up the volumes to purchase? The girl was a going to be in 5th grade next year. I am afraid I spent some time saying, "Oooh, have you read THIS?" They added several of my enthusiasms to their pile, including Maude March. I cannot seem to stop telling people about Maude.
One of the most entertaining places to find books was The Spy Museum. This family spent over three hours there. The museum is a brilliant mix of video, audio, artifacts and storytelling. The crowd was so dense at first that I was afraid I was going to hate it but eventually people rushed on and left us to meander through the exhibits.
The gift shop is as entertaining as the museum itself and had one of the best selections of children's books I had seen on our trip. Of course they all had to do with spies or spying. There was Alex Rider, Jimmy Coates, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Young James Bond, Harriet the Spy, and Christopher Paul Curtis's Mr. Chickee. There were even more that I cannot recall now but I was amazed at the imagination and knowledge of the buyer. The book choices were spot on for the theme.