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Ethan Allen, of the war, not furniture

Ethan Allen, of the war, not furniture

Just in case you are wondering...

My day will not be spent lounging around in my pajamas reading comic books and eating unhealthy snacks. Instead, I will be traipsing all over Long Island trying to find a biography of Ethan Allen (The Revolutionary war guy, not the furniture guy).

DJ has a book report this month. There was no theme for a change. He could pick any book in the entire free world. Captain Underpants, even. A comic book. The instruction manual for Star Wars Legos. Whatever. I mean, there must be 500 books in our house. A good portion of them on his reading level. But no, he decides (and when DJ decides something, there is no discussion about altering his decision) that he wants to read a biography of a radical, defiant, religion-hating man:

Shocking people was Allenís specialty. He stopped his wedding ceremony when asked if he would pledge "to live with Fanny Buchanan agreeable to the laws of God." He wanted to know which god and whose god the marriage was supposed to please, stalling the proceedings until it was specified to be Nature's god and no other.

Also: (Allen and the Green Mountain boys) took Fort Ticonderoga after an epic march in fierce conditions that caught the British asleep. Allen awoke them by proclaiming that he was taking possession "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." The Jehovah bit was all tongue in cheek, for Allen was a freethinker who thought Judeo-Christian-Islam-anity was a calamity. I'm beginning to feel a bit of a kinship with Mr. Allen.

I really have no idea where the idea of Ethan Allen came from in DJ's strange little head. Natalie did a report on Allen once, but that was almost two years ago.

Anyhow, the point is, not one of the big conglomerate book stores on Long Island carries any appropriate Ethan Allen reading material. The woman I spoke to at Borders yesterday kept saying "furniture?" and I kept repeating "revolutionary war" and she kept hitting the keys on her computer and bringing up furniture and insisting with all her tiny little brain cells that I was absolutely making this up and no such man existed. Tell that to the citizens of Vermont.

I've called three other stores, to no avail. Many of the books are out of print. So finally, I remember about the Book Revue in Huntington, probably the best damn independent bookstore on the face of this earth, a place where Neil Gaiman sat his butt down last June to sign copies of American Gods. It's a bookstore run by people who love and revere books, not people who sell coffee and scones with more fervor than they sell reading material. The staff is knowledgeable. They would think of Ethan Allen the war hero before they thought of Ethan Allen the couch man.

So now I have to trek all the way to Huntington to get this book for DJ, and the worst part is, I know I will be parting with more than the ten bucks the Ethan Allen biography will cost. I will be spending a good portion of whatever is in my wallet there. That's not a bad thing, though. Because then I can come home, put on my jammies and surround myself with new books and magazines and unhealthy snacks.

Pointless post, I know. But I'm killing time waiting for the bookstore to open.

Comments

I too, am unable to deny myself anything I see at the bookstore. CDs, no problem. Magazines, I can resist. But a book? That's virtuous...and necessary... and I have ten piled up on my nightstand, waiting to be read.

Good for your son for treading off the beaten path, and good for you, for encouraging him.

I'm the same way at Moe's.

Happily, they (like 1/2 of Berkeley) take trade, so my teenaged science fiction and Norse fairy tale collection fuels my current whimsies.

Time and money spent at independent bookstores are both so well spent it makes you feel patriotic. In the Ethan Allen way.

doh. no closing tag.

I haven't had my coffee yet.

I can't resist books either. I just have to not go to the bookstore if I don't have money to spend - If I go, I come home with books. Unfortunately, in my Small Southern Town, the bookstore with the most selection is Barnes & Noble. sigh

If I walk into a bookstore, I will walk out with something. CDs I can resist until I have to have something, but the first one is all it takes - I usually end up buying several at a time.

Late night shopping at Amazon and Chapters has made me, and Visa, very happy. Broke, but happy.

I spent 4.50 on an Eggnog latte in a barns and noble once. Unfortunately I didn't leave with the Chronicles of Narnia. It would have been a better investment.

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