There was time now. Books lined the shelves where I ran my finger over the authors’ names. Other stacks of books surrounded me as I browsed the shelves: Gorey, Steinbeck, Wilde. There was time. No, I didn’t survive a nuclear attack, and I’m not the only living person on earth, and my glasses are in perfect, unbroken condition. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that sometime in the past three weeks I had wandered into the Twilight Zone.

Three weeks earlier, my place of employment laid off about a third of its employees, while the remaining 19 of us had our hours cut. These employees were people that I had worked closely with for more than six years, talented people, some employed before me. My elected furlough day is Wednesday. Everyday Wednesday, as my colleagues punch in, I lay in bed and think about how I want to spend my day off –alone. Reduced hours meant that I had to rethink my spending, my routine, my time. There was time. Time for me to cry and mope and drink away my lost hours? Maybe. Or was this the universe giving me an opportunity?

The one thing to know about me is that I like books. Love books. OK, books are my whole life. I like the smell of the aged pages, the loud crack of the spine, unique binding and the texture of the cover. Every bibliophile can attest to that. If I could, I would probably spend my whole paycheck on books and coffee.

In 2011, I challenged myself to read 50 books by the end of the year. I wanted to read one book a week, but allowed myself an extra two weeks for books that might take a little longer to read. I didn’t make it to 50, I probably read about 30. I knew it was a huge undertaking, but it was one that filled my life with a productive and exciting goal.

On January 7, 2015, I challenged myself again to read 50 books by the end of the year. Maybe this time around I will complete my goal and read 50 books, maybe I only read 25, but whatever it is, I know that there is no better way to spend my Wednesdays off than with a good book. There was one more issue to resolve. Reduced hours also meant a reduced book budget, so it was off to the Public Library for some rentals.

Books of Choice this visit: The Cat, The Quilt and The Corpse by Leann Sweeney, The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas, and Classified as Murder, A Cat in the Stacks Mystery by Miranda James.

Drink of choice: Tazo Passion tea.