A Literary Weekend in Connecticut: From David Sedaris to the Book Barn

From the first time you board a bus with your classmates and get paraded through the Mark Twain House for a field trip it is clear that we have an exceptionally literate state. Not quite as well-known but no less Connecticutian is Hartford’s own Wallace Stevens. Add the Noah Webster House to that line-up and we’ve got a book lover’s smorgasbord. But none of these guys figured very prominently in my literary weekend. Instead, I kicked it off with a trip to the Bushnell to see David Sedaris.

I’ve loved Sedaris ever since I first read his story about finding a giant turd in a friend’s bathroom during a cookout. I used to force my roommates and house guests to listen to me read “You Can’t Kill the Rooster”–which isn’t easy because I tend to laugh hysterically through it. Going to a Sedaris reading is pretty much exactly as funny and weird as you thought it to be. He read some new essays that I’ve never heard before, and some diary entries. One of those essays included the story of a fatty tumor that Sedaris had removed by a fan/shady doctor and then shipped to his sister so he could later feed it to a snapping turtle. That sentence is weird and funny enough, so just imagine hearing him tell the whole story. 

The next morning the Farmer and I, along with a friend, headed to the Welles Turner Memorial Library book sale in Glastonbury. I immediately hit the Classic Literature table. If you find yourself thinking, “I should really read [insert classic book title]” quite often, and just don’t know where to begin, head to a library book sale. Catching up on your classics can be an expensive proposition. There are just so many of them, but if you buy used, it’s far more manageable.

After buying some new-old books, we got in the car and headed to the Book Barn in Niantic. If you’ve never been, that’s a huge mistake. The Book Barn is a magical wonderland filled with used books, cats, and a goat. More importantly, you can sell your old books there–for store credit or cash. So we traded in some of our old books before heading into the wonderland, and buying even more. Every book I bought at the Barn was $4, so it’s a little pricier than the library sale (where prices range from 50 cents to $1.50), but is still a steal.

I only wish we could have hit RJ Julia while we were at it.