The first fresh breeze of Fall is here today. The oak trees rustle heavily, the water ripples offshore (toward Harts Neck across the harbor), and the Queen Anne’s lace, past its prime but still willing, waves with the goldenrod. I haven’t seen a stand of blue asters or red sumac yet, but I haven’t driven 131 lately to check the ditches. All of this affirms that change can be beautiful.
Great conversation with bookstore visitors about medical diagnoses and misdiagnoses, how one becomes the other, especially over time, and what to do about it. Arrogance, denial, preconceptions, conclusions vs. hypotheses, no or too few consultations, too little continuing attention to other options were all in the air. With different backgrounds, we had read Jerome Groopman’s How Doctors Think and were browsing Farhad Manjoo’s True Enough: Learning to Live In a Post Fact Society. I would not sell my copy of Manjoo because it was in hardcover (uninsulated Roseledge Books sells only paperback*) and because I was still reading it. “Is a bookseller a bookseller if she doesn’t sell the books sitting on the table?” It’s a question for the ages, surely.
Why read? Well, readers know more than people who don’t read. This means that readers have more options, that they have more interesting and more useful conversations, and that, with multiple perspectives at hand, they are more likely to have a sense of humor — all of which lead to a better life, says this bookseller, too smugly.
Now that I finally realized it was stalled for twelve days, the webcam is back on and aimed away from the window for an even better view of heaven.
*I do have Goodnight Bush (by Erich Origen and Gan Golan) in hardcover on my desk (Who can resist this “unauthorized parody?”); but it is not for sale either.