If We Were Having Coffee (Valentine’s Day Edition)

Posted February 14, 2017 by What Katie Read in If We Were Having Coffee, Special Features / 9 Comments

Hello, Friends! It’s been awhile, but I’m incredibly happy to share a new blog post with you today. And I hope you’re excited because….we’re going out for coffee.

**The “If We Were Having Coffee” feature came from Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner, who actually discovered it on another blog.

If we were having coffee, I would hope you had chosen a coffee beverage you really enjoy and that you would have ordered it in a cup “for here.” I would also hope you had a slice of cake to go along with your coffee.

I would ask you if you were enjoying the snow. I would mention that I don’t mind the cold so much, because growing up in Northern California meant that our winters didn’t always bring snow. I like the four seasons, and I appreciate the wardrobe change. I’d ask you how you were coping with the colder weather and what you thought of the notion of these bits of fluffy cotton falling from the sky…

If we were having coffee, I would ask you if you had an upcoming winter break, like I do. I would mention that I’m visiting Italy with friends for the week, and that it’s my fourth trip to that beautiful country. Though I have been to Florence before, it was only for a few days. I’m pleased to be returning for longer. Florence is that magical kind of place you imagine you could visit periodically for the rest of your life. The last time I was there I tried to imagine what it was like for Lucy Honeychurch to encounter George Emerson in Room with a View. I plan to re-read E.M. Forster’s classic while in Florence. I’d ask you if you’d been to Italy or other European destinations. I’d wonder if there were places you return to again and again. 

I would mention that it is only recently I could even get excited about going to Italy. My job in the School Library has been so busy this year–so many classes to teach and an entire library to manage! You would think that being surrounded by so many books would mean you could get loads and loads of reading done, but it’s not exactly like that. It has been challenging at times to keep up with my reading and, as you know, to update this blog. I want that to change! You wouldn’t believe the amazing books I’ve been reading over the past few months. I think you’ll also be excited about all the wonderful titles I picked up from ALA Midwinter in Atlanta in January.

To be honest, I don’t even like saying I’m “busy.”  I want people to think they could ask me to sit down for a coffee at any time. Or even that they could drop by and I would have a pie made from scratch to offer.

That doesn’t seem the norm—this is a busy culture and sometimes it seems you have to plan a coffee meeting weeks and weeks out. How I miss the days of hearing a knock on the door and seeing a friend! I would ask you what you thought of spontaneous coffee outings, and if you had any strategies for navigating our busy culture.

So, if we were having coffee, I would tell you how happy I am you took the time to sit down and talk. I would appreciate being able to tell you what’s happening with me, and I would be thankful to hear what’s going on with you. I would ask you if you needed a refill of your coffee.

I would tell you that recently I’ve been wondering why I chose to live so far away from my family. For some reason, it has felt more difficult, and it seems as if those 3,000 miles might as well be 30,000. I would reflect that you can’t really get the California out of me. There’s a bit of London there too. I would mention that I’m thinking about Londoners right now, in the swirl of winter, and that I so enjoyed speaking with my dear friends in Oxford (along with their dog, Bramble, barking in the background) on Sunday afternoon. I would ask you if you’ve ever lived in another country or state and what it was like leaving that place.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you what you were reading. I would say that I have so many good books lined up to read, and that I recently read a historical novel called When We Meet Again, by an author I met at ALA this past summer in Orlando. I would ask you if you knew that German prisoners of war had been sent to work on farms in Florida after WWII. I might mention that there were probably many German soldiers in the war that didn’t really support Hitler, but were caught up in a horrendous world event that would send them far, far away from where they were born. I would ask you if your perspective about people changes when you read historical fiction, and what you think about the power of literature to change people’s hearts and minds. I would ask you if you love history and what historical period you would go to, should you be granted the ability to time travel.

If we were having coffee, we might be figuring out our next coffee meeting. I would mention that it should happen again sooner, rather than later.

As we were finishing our coffee, I would mention that I really miss blogging. I remember when I blogged almost every day, when I was working from home. I miss those days of sharing my thoughts about every book I read and participating in the Top Ten Tuesday every week. I would share the ideas I have for blogging in 2017, and you would know I’m really excited about it. I would mention that instead of just writing book review posts, I hope to share my thoughts about some other subjects….such as a research project I’m planning with a favorite video game. I would ask you what you think of stories in different mediums, and whether you were currently playing any intriguing games.

So, go ahead….tell me! Grab your coffee and take a break from receiving all those roses and chocolates (or giving them) and let’s catch up. I’m excited for the weeks ahead on the blog, and I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to and reading!

What Katie Read

9 responses to “If We Were Having Coffee (Valentine’s Day Edition)

  1. So happy to see your blogging again, as I’ve missed your and Wendy D’s presence online. My reading has been a mixture of MG and YA (The Lost Property Office & Scythe), and some of the books my kiddo has been wanting me to read (A Monster Calls). Love all the pictures of coffee and PIE! Yummy looking.

  2. I love the way you wrote this post! What fun it would be to sit down and talk about books and life over coffee.

    Right now I’m rereading The King Must Die by Mary Renault, a historical fiction favorite from many years ago, and wishing I could go to Greece — I’ve never been. I’m also reading A Darker Shade of Magic, with its different versions of London. I’m not completely into it yet, but it has an interesting premise.

    I don’t really play video games any more, but I used to. My family went through all the Activision games (Zork etc.) and they were tremendous fun, and definitely a fine alternative way of storytelling. The games I look at nowadays seem boring in comparison, but maybe I’m not aware of the good ones. I will look forward to hearing what you are playing these days.

    • Hi Lory! We will have to plan a real life coffee date! 🙂 That historical title sounds fascinating. I’ve never been to Greece, but also want to go! I also have Victoria Schwab’s trilogy to read. How are you liking it? You may have finished it by now! Yes, it can be tricky to find the games with interesting and compelling story lines, but they’re out there. I will aim to write a blog post along these lines at some point in the near future. 🙂

  3. I’ve never been to Italy (and would love to, especially Florence and Venice, given Renaissance history and all). Clearly, it resonates with you! I think it’s wonderful you’re reading a classic during the trip- I’ve always thought that gives context to a place, grounds you in an emotional story to fight the distractions of tourist things. I can’t wait to hear how this Spring break trip goes for you!

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