{In Between}

September 30, 1999
Day 4

Last day of freedom. I elected to tackle the bookcases this time. Big mistake.

I did make a HUGE difference in the organization of the bookcases. There's lots of space for more of the dozens of books from my home boxes now. But of course, I wound up reading a number of those books off and on as I pulled books down and put them last up and moved stacks around and slid other stacks into their rightful places on the shelves.

In particular, I finally read a book that I'd bought from Amazon months ago.

Neil Gaiman's writing has fascinated me since I picked up the first volume of Sandman over five years ago now, at Sam's instigation. Stardust is an engaging fairy tale, told in the tradition of Gaiman's previous works and the classic The Princess Bride. Lavishly illustrated by Charles Vess, the book creates first and foremost a tangible atmosphere of faerie that leaps right off the page and swirls all around the reader. I got swept up for the better part of two hours and when I was done, I felt as if a part of my worldview had shifted infinitesimally without my noticing it.

Gaiman has a way of doing that to a person.

He's so subtle that you barely see it coming until you've already immersed yourself in his narrative and you come through changed, moving as the protagonist does. The story is told along the lines of every fairy tale since time immemorial -- but it's what Gaiman does with that formula that's so interesting.

Definitely a keeper for my own pleasure and to read to my potential children.

After that, working up a sweat to make up for "lost" time wasn't half as much fun, but it was necessary and the fruits of my labor are satisfying indeed.

So were the chocolate cookies that I made afterwards.

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