The Sunday Salon

Welcome to The Sunday Salon post. The Sunday Salon is hosted by Readerbuzz.

What other bookish things did you do?

I shopped at Barnes and Noble yesterday. I shopped for books in person! Not online! Woohoo.

I miss the days of B. Dalton and Waldenbooks. These were smallish bookstores located in shopping malls. They both officially closed their stores in 2010, 2011. However, many of their stores had already closed before those years. They closed when Barnes and Noble and Amazon came along. Actually, Walmart helped their demise too. I believe there were other reasons. For example, there were less people shopping in malls. Other stores were more often frequented like Kmart, Walmart, and Target where people could purchase books.

I’m thankful for public libraries. Free book access in person and in e-books.

It feels really good to walk around in a store filled with books. It feels good to hold a book. It feels good to smell a book.

I noticed all the beautiful leather journals and other types of journals have been removed. This had been a reason to shop at Barnes and Noble in person as I’m particular about the kind of writing journal I purchase. I prefer to see it in person before purchase.

The book I bought is a collection of four stories Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote of his famous sleuth, Sherlock Holmes.

The stories under one cover are A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and The Valley of Fear.

A link to the book at Barnes and Noble.

I paid more at Barnes and Noble for the book than I would have through Amazon. And this is a reason why Amazon is hard to beat with prices.

What is your favorite/preferred way to look at books or buy books?

Do you go to libraries?

Enjoy the weekend!

The Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon is hosted by Readerbuzz.

~Read any good books? Tell us about them.

Yes, I read (devoured) Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman by Lucy Worsley.

The link is to the book on Goodreads. I have not written a review yet.

The main reason why I love this book is it gave me a vivid dimensional view of Agatha Christie. I see her a person, daughter, wife, mother, writer; and as a woman creating a career in the post Victorian era and early 20th century in England.

I look forward to sharing a review next week.

~What else is going on in your life?

My week has been uneventful. I’ve had good days of reading and relaxing and drinking tea.

I’m thinking of getting rid of some house plants because they are toxic to cats. I have a few that are kept in the bathroom and with the doors closed so the cats cannot get to them. But to be on the safe side, and to have peace of mind, these plants need new homes.

My husband worked overtime everyday but Sunday and yesterday. I hope today will be a good day of rest for him.

Today is laundry day and catch-up day.

I’m still working my way through the Law-and-Order SVU reruns. I’m camped out in season four.

In bookish type news, I’m thinking seriously of cleaning up and reorganizing the bookshelves. Whew. This is a big job. I’m tired just thinking about it.

My favorite type of cuppa. A tea latte.

The Sunday Salon

It is Saturday afternoon in my little area of the world. The temperature is 88. Clear sky, bright, and sunny. No rain over the past several days.

My husband is working. With the exception of a visit with my son Paul and his family who came over in the late morning for a brief visit. It is a quiet and restful day.

Everyone in the family is well and adjusting to the new school year.


I’ve thought a little about simple living or living a simple life that I’d written about in last Sunday’s Salon.

My first thought in reference to simple living is having less distractions.

Distraction means to draw away the mind and attention to another direction. To draw in conflicting direction; create conflict or confusion.

When I think about the greatest distraction in my life it is the iPhone, iPad, laptop, television, and social media.

I’ve asked a few questions:

  1. How often do notification alerts sound?
  2. How often do I look at these devices?
  3. What can I do to make changes?

At least with the television I turn it on and off and there are no notification alerts to draw away my attention.

Back in the day when people only had a landline with a corded telephone, few calls were telemarketers or strangers, most were people we knew.

While reading or doing art, my attention is drawn away from what I’m working on because of a notification alert sound. I’m hesitant to keep the phone on no sound because what if I get an important call or text.

If I am sitting, then I am looking at a gadget like iPhone or iPad.

Why do I always need some kind of stimulation?

Is it possible to sit for 15 minutes and relax without a tech gadget nearby?

There is great pleasure gained from being able to sit, relax, and take a deep breath.

Somewhere along the way I have forgotten how to relax.

Is the checking of phones, tablets, and scrolling through social media a form of escape?

If asked, can we name the things we want to escape from? It is going to be a long list.

To an extent we read and take vacation and do other hobbies and activities that help us, and in an enjoyable way, to escape from the stresses of life. But when the escape takes us away from engaging with people and life overall, that is a problem. Because essentially, we are checking out.

A favorite memory of mine is my parents went for a 30-minute walk after supper every night. Then they sat in a porch swing together. They’d have conversations about their children, church, dad’s job, other family, friends, neighbors, and current world events. But sometimes they were silent. sitting beside one another, shoulder to shoulder, swinging in unison and unity.

My answer for this topic is to have boundaries. I have implemented some boundaries. Simple things. For example, no social media on my phone or pad except Pinterest. I only look at Pinterest before bed. I have a planned and timed spot in the day where I sit and do nothing. I set the owl kitchen timer for 15 minutes. During that time, I take deep breathes, lay my head back, and relax. On purpose, I leave my phone in another room. The downside of that is I forget where I placed that darn phone.

Are techie gadgets and social media taking us too far away from not dealing with the stresses of life and community?

The Sunday Salon is hosted by Readerbuzz.

The Sunday Salon

I took a month-long break from blogging. I removed social media apps from the iPhone and iPad. I looked at social media in the mornings on the laptop and then turned it off. I did not turn the laptop on Sundays.

I learned and implemented several things during the break.

  1. Being away from the (almost) constant scrolling, my mind has a stronger attention span. I don’t feel distracted. I feel calm-less anxious.
  2. I read more.
  3. I don’t plan to re-add social media apps to the iPhone and iPad.
  4. I no longer take part in the Goodreads reading challenge. I already know that I can read over 100 books in a year. Most years the number of books read have far achieved the original goal. I have taken part in the challenge for a decade, it is time to move on, it no longer feels like a challenge but boring.
  5. I am no longer adding books or reviews to Goodreads unless the book is reviewed for someone else.
  6. I don’t look at Twitter unless I believe there is a problem with the posts syncing.
  7. I think about priorities. I ask a fundamental question: What is most important?
  8. I am trying to live a simple life. Maybe you’ve heard people talking about this idea? To live a simple life. I feel the first thing we should ask ourselves is what does this mean or look like to us personally? I will be writing about this in a future post.
  9. I had been thinking and worrying about the number of books read, am I keeping up with reviews, etc. This squeezes the joy out of reading. I’d rather think about the stories themselves. For example, the form or structure of the story and the characters. I plan to dig deeper. I hope the reviews will show the reading development.
  10. I plan to read more mysteries, classics, biographies, and history.
  11. I have dropped The Classics Club reading challenge. I plan to read classics but not as a challenge.

What happened during the month break?

  1. I was sick with a bladder infection. An antibiotic cleared it up.
  2. My husband has struggled with a sinus infection. He is on round 2 of antibiotics. He refuses to use a Neti pot, etc.
  3. Our oldest granddaughter moved 6 hours away to a large university, spent 2 weeks there, disenrolled and moved home. It did not work out.
  4. Our youngest granddaughter started pre-k and loves it.
  5. Our grandson started the 11th grade. He is on the school track team.
  6. It began raining; and temperatures dropped 15 to 20 degrees from what they had been. The rain is refreshing. It is a welcome transition of the summer season changing to autumn.
  7. I began watching Law-and-Order SVU reruns. I started on season 1. I’m now on season 3.
  8. I signed up for Carnegie Hall+ on Apple TV+. I love it! Plus, I can listen to the music while reading.
  9. I discovered a new way to make morning tea. I love this gadget so much I thought it a good idea to buy a second in case the first broke. I bought it at World Market (in the store) for $19.99. It looks similar to a coffee press. It is for loose leaf tea which I often use, but bagged tea can be placed inside the carafe. It makes 2 big cups.
I cannot find the Tea Maker on the World Market website. It may have discontinued. I did find something similar at Witt Clinic.
My favorite loose-leaf tea for morning tea-time, bought from Amazon.
My favorite bag tea for morning teatime, bought at World Market.

Do you drink coffee or tea or something else?

How do you feel about living a simple life?

The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.

The Sunday Salon

What was my week like?

My husband and I finished up the kitchen island project. I’m so thankful for his hard work in this beautiful piece that sits proudly in our kitchen.

We used a discarded card catalog file that sits just underneath the butcher block.

I’m storing a collection of cast iron on the shelf. There are a few more pieces that I’m currently seasoning in the oven before storage.

Do you cook or bake with cast iron?

I’m currently reading:

  1. The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun by J. R. R. Tolkien.
  2. The Gown by Jennifer Robson.
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.
  4. Soul Friend by Kenneth Leech.

What are you currently reading?

The Sunday Salon host is Readerbuzz.