Read Well And Respond Urgently

That was the header of a piece of spam I received recently that struck my fancy because I think it pretty much sums up what happens when you read a good book.

And here’s picture/map that I think is so charming I decided to post it, although know nothing about it; I don’t know the artist or title–I’d guess it’s eighteenth or nineteenth century. It’s so clever! I’ve been wanting to share it ever since I first found it. Do any of our learned and esteemed visitors and friends know any more about it?

Other than the random nature of this post, I wanted to talk about my 2007, which has been a real learning experience, both good and bad. Here are some of my highlights, although some of them are things I’ve known for years but thought you’d like to know:

  • Running out of tea is a state of national emergency.
  • You really don’t need to clean your bathroom more than once every six months but it’s easier if you do it more often.
  • TV is for folding laundry.
  • It’s possible for a publisher to contract a book as one subgenre and market it as another and not tell the author.
  • Google is for other things than looking up your own name.
  • If you buy a case of toilet paper and live in a small house, after a while you get used to the box in the living room.
  • If you squeeze a couple of pages out every day it amounts to more than if you don’t.
  • When a cat sleeps on your bed with you, s/he expands to about a yard wide and 200 degrees.
  • No one ever wants the last cookie, so go for it. You’re doing them a favor.
  • No one ever wants to eat sardines or beets, but they don’t want you to eat them either.
  • You should always carry reading material.
  • Make sure you have sufficient dust bunnies, books, and old newspapers under the bed for any contingency.
  • If you or the man in your life buys navy blue socks in bulk they will never match once they’re worn and washed.
  • If you can’t avoid visitors, plug in the vacuum cleaner and leave it ostentatiously in the middle of the room. They will actually believe you are halfway through cleaning. (Of course, if you can’t find the vacuum cleaner you’re out of luck.)
  • If there is a cold going around at work, avoid any bowls of candy on your colleagues’ desks.

Read well and respond urgently–share your pearls of wisdom with us!

Receive a great honking pearl of wisdom every month with the Riskies newsletter: sign up by sending an email with NEWSLETTER in the header to And while we’re in the small, eye-catching italic section, check out what Pam Rosenthal is giving away in her contest; and read an alternate ending to The Rules of Gentility and enter to win a prize at

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Georgie Lee
14 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Georgie Lee
14 years ago

I agree with always having reading material. There is nothing worse than getting stuck in line with nothing to read. Also, writing a couple of pages a day is better than writing none at all.

Diane Gaston
14 years ago

My bit of wisdom:
The roll of toilet paper will always run out when I am in the bathroom–no matter whose house I’m in. Has already happened here in Williamsburg…and probably will happen once I get home.

I LOVE that map, Janet! how very clever. I hope someone can tell us more about it.

Amanda McCabe
14 years ago

Google is also for looking up old boyfriends. 🙂 And I totally agree with never being without reading material!

14 years ago

Bits of Wisdom : When traveling with the Divine Ms. G – get to the bathroom before she does!

While dogs will eat every last bite of food in the bowl, cats for some reason consider the last mouthful of food in the bowl inedible no matter how long you leave it in there!

No matter what color dress I wear to an important event they will serve food that shows up on it!

I agree, access to reading material at any and all times is as necessary to life as air and chocolate.

No matter how many times you explain the writing process to your mother she will STILL ask you “Yes, dear, but when are you going to be finished with the book?”

14 years ago

It is clear from the earlier comments, as well as my own experience, that never being stuck without reading material is indeed a rule to live by. And Google is also useful for identifying who wrote a song based on half-remembered snippets of lyrics.