Pajammy Party

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Searching for Sylvia

Today, my beloved book store failed me.

Last night, I updated my Facebook album of “Books I’ve Read In 2011” and realized two things:

1. I’ve read 66 books this year – 65, actually, because I read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares twice. And that means I haven’t been meeting my goal to read at least ten books a month.

2. I read like I’m a 13-year-old girl. The books I’ve read so far this year are an embarrassing mix of young adult favorites, chick lit, non-fiction, a few memoirs, crime and Justin Bieber.

And those realizations led to more realizations:

1. Fuck, I’m 30 years old. I cannot be reading like a 13-year-old.

2. Holy shit, no. I’m not 30, I’m almost 31. That’s even more embarrassing.

3. While I have a huge pile of books waiting to be read, they’re of the same variety – my trail mix of juvenile fun and sexy trash. And that leads us to number…

4. I need to buy new books.

5. I need to buy books because Sylvia Plath was 30 when she put her head in the oven and left behind Pulitzer-worthy poetry and here I am, same age as she was when she said goodbye, wasting my time, choosing to swim in marshmallow fluff.

6. I knew what I needed to do. I needed to find Sylvia Plath.

I own several of her books but I have no idea where they are. I’ve never finished any of them, her sadness always scared me. But I think I’m ready now.

And so today, I went to the book store. I dumped my laptop and bag into a cart and proceeded to check every inch of their shelves for signs of Sylvia.

There were none.

I checked everywhere. Biographies, memoirs, poetry, literature, award-winning literature, fiction, non-fiction. I found nothing. I checked children’s books, dictionaries, travel books, self-help, graphic novels, effing cook books. No Sylvia.

Not happy to be defeated and not willing to walk away empty-handed, I decided to find other books to read instead.

I walked out of the book store with The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka and The Portable Dorothy Parker.

They’re not Sylvia but Frank and Dorothy will have to do while I continue my search for Sylvia.


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3 thoughts on “Searching for Sylvia

  1. Sylvia is so elusive. I was looking for here a few months ago as well. I asked NBS if they have any stock and the customer service representative said they don’t have any copies of ANY of her literature anymore. Update us when you finally find her! 😦

  2. Pam, try this: Post on National Book Store’s Facebook that you’re looking for this book and specify which NBS branch is nearest to you. They’ll send a copy there.

    I got my David Foster Wallace book that way. My name was even written on the paper stuck on the book.

  3. Hi. If you still haven’t found Sylvia herself, try Your Own, Sylvia (A verse portrait of Sylvia Plath) by Stephanie Hemphill. It’s a Michael Prinz awardee and probably the closest you can get to her for now. Enjoy 🙂

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