The pressure of the expiring book

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

My Own Personal Sabbath #32: Time’s Running Out…

Earlier in the week, I checked in on the ebook I am reading, The Paper Moon, the ninth in the Inspector Montalbano series, by Andrea Camilleri and saw a notice that it was expiring soon with a question if I’d like to place a hold on it. This morning, about half an hour ago, I checked in and saw the message as shown in the photo at right: Time’s Running Out…Expiring Soon. Place a hold? Due in 8 Hours. Now I have until 5:26 p.m. Eastern Standard Time here in the U..S. to finish.

Thanks, Free Library of Philadelphia or Libby, I guess to be more accurate, for attempting to make me return the book that I am in the middle of reading and place a hold on it before I am done with it (yes, said sarcastically). Lately, Libby also gives me a message: “One Good Turn…” and tells me how many people are on the hold list and says something like “Would you like to return early?” No, Libby, I would not like to return the book that I am in the middle of reading or may be almost finished reading (not that it’s any of your damned business). I would like to say that, but Libby doesn’t give you a response form, only the unwanted pressure of being asked to return a book you’re not finished with.

Before I get comments that Libby is just being polite for the sake of the next patron, which might be me in the future, or that Libby is just being practical, let me say I’m not really that upset about this. I just find it slightly annoying (obviously annoying enough to write about it here, ha) that they would ask me to return a book early that I am allowed to have out for the full time. That’s the way books loaned out at libraries work, Libby.

So today, if you haven’t guessed for the next 8 hours, nay, now down to about 7, I plan on finishing the book I am reading. Basically, it will be the same plans as I posted on Instagram with the photo at left, with the following caption:

No plans for the weekend, but to read and drink…iced coffee. And maybe some wine. A oh, food and sleep. Forgive me if I left a crumb or speck on the table, but I tried to wipe it off the best I could to make it Instagram perfect. The ebook: The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri. Now I’m off to read in my real reading spot, my recliner (not pictured).

Update, 1:45 p.m.: A little after 1 this afternoon, I finished the book, with four hours to spare. Now on to the next one in the series, August Heat.

My Own Personal Sabbath #26

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day or the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath day.

I am starting the day with quiet music as I often do on Sundays, many times with Sleepy Hollow on WXPN from Philadelphia. Today’s selection, though, is inspired by music I heard on this morning’s show. It was gentle acoustic guitar music, a little on the ambient side, and then in a review on Pitchfork this morning, I rediscovered the artist Nathan Salsburg, who just released two albums of instrumental acoustic music, Landwerk and Landwerk No. 2, made up of eight pieces.

Later today, I plan on dipping into the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri, with the fifth in the series, Excursion to Tindari. Last week I learned the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) added the series to its ebook collection and it was, and is, like Christmas for me, since the series is on my bucket list of series I want to read. I’ll leave you with one of Salsburg’s pieces from his latest album:


It’s a little after 2 p.m. now and after a short nap, I’m reading again. I started late this morning with Excursion to Tindari as planned. This afternoon, after about 50 pages in, I realized that while I had not read this one, I had watched it. For a short time, we had MHz Choice, which had the show Inspector Montalbano on it. I saw the episode based on the book, so I knew where the story was going.

So…now I’m on the sixth one in the series, The Smell of the Night. I’ll report back later on how it’s going.


It is a little after 4 p.m. and I am halfway through The Smell of the Night. Neither have I seen this episode of Montalbano nor do I think I have seen any others after the Excursion to Tindari so I should be good, which also this book is thus far, from here on out.


Last report of the day here at 8:30 p.m.: I finished my first book of the year, The Smell of the Night, by Andrea Camilleri. It was good, as I expected that it would be, and I have the next one, Rounding the Mark, already checked out from FLP. I’m ending the day with the end of Season 12 of Criminal Minds, to which I recently returned. I had been watching a few years ago on Netflix but then stopped when they were didn’t have any seasons past 12. This weekend, I learned Hulu now has later seasons and so I’m finishing 12 on Netflix, then going to 13 on Hulu.

How did you spend your Sunday? Read, watch, listen to anything good?

My Own Personal Sabbath #25

My view late this morning. Cloudy. Listening to chill music. Only other things on agenda are meditation and reading.

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone.

I didn’t get up as early as wanted today, thanks to taking three magnesium last night. It is 9:30 a.m. and I have had a bowl of cereal and coffee. I am listening to chill music via Mixcloud, a site that collects the works of DJs from around the world, and getting ready to meditate shortly. I plan on some “holy” reading later this morning.

I did start reading a little and realize that my obsession with prayer is coupled with an obsession to be perfect, always in unceasing prayer.

“Once the vices of the inner person have been conquered and the mind has been established in tranquility, it will be possible to enjoy unceasing prayer.”

Boniface Ramsey in the translator’s introduction to The Ninth Conference by John Cassian, ascetic, monk and theologian from the First Century

It is a place I am attempting to get to by meditating for 20 in the morning and meditating 20 minutes at night, with the “unceasing prayer” during the day in between. I make my life a prayer to you, as Christian contemporary musician Keith Green once sang –  something I got a glimpse of when I spent a month living with monks in a monastery in upstate New York more than 25 years ago. That every action in daily life can be/is a prayer offered up every day.

I offer this day up to you, O Lord.


It is now noon and after a lot of procrastination, I finally meditated for 20 minutes, well, at least 15 minutes, as I was distracted throughout. Like St. Paul in Romans 7, I know I am.

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Romans 7: 15

The plan for this afternoon is simple: to read. I picked up a copy of The Eagle Catcher, the first in the Wind River Reservation series, by Margaret Coel and am starting there. I keep trying series new to me in the hopes that I can find a good one. Maybe this will be one. If not, I have other choices of reading material. I’ll let you know later today what I think.


It is now about 7 p.m. and I am watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Because. Things.

I got about halfway through The Eagle Catcher and it’s okay so far. I probably won’t read any more tonight. Because. TV.

I’ll leave you with this that I was reminded of while watching T2:

My Own Personal Sabbath #24

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone.

I am starting today by reading and commenting on blogs and listening to Sleepy Hollow on XPN, a public radio station out of Philadelphia. Right now they’re just finishing up is “My Favorite Things” by John Coltrane, which I like when it starts, but then he gets a little “reedy” for me which is not one of my favorite things. Later, I plan on dipping into the second Ruth Galloway mystery, The Janus Stone, by Elly Griffith.

I’ll check in later to let you know how things are going. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the Coltrane song, which you might enjoy, even though I don’t toward the end of the song:

I don’t think I realized Coltrane was playing a soprano saxophone here (I Googled). No wonder it’s too “reedy” for me. Ugh.

It is now about 2 p.m. and I’ve been reading The Janus Stone. I almost abandoned it after I learned Ruth is pregnant by the detective from the first book and also italicized asides in the first person from the killer, which Griffiths did in the first one too. I don’t know why, but I’ve never liked italics. Flashbacks are even worse, I usually want to flash out. Ha. However, I am continuing on because the story is still interesting (enough). In the background I’ve been listening to a musician new to me, Theo Parrish, whose music I’m really enjoying. Here’s a song from his latest album Wuddaji:


I got about halfway through The Janus Stone earlier today and then decided that I couldn’t read any more. Mostly, it was for the reasons I mentioned above. I then took a nap. When I got up, I had dinner with Kim before she left for work and I’m now watching binge-watching CSI, Season 11, to end the night.