LONG BEFORE JIMMY BUFFETT ever became a writer, or a performer, or even a strummer of three basic chords, the young Jimmy Buffett had been raised a reader. Buoyed by his mother’s own passion for that pastime, as well as by his grandfather’s seafaring tales, Jimmy discovered early on that reading could take him to places (both real and imagined) without his ever leaving the shade of a tree, the sway of a hammock, or even the shelter of his room. And these were the sort of adventures that any boy could take all by himself pretty much whenever he wanted. Sometimes a chapter, a page, or even a line might set his mind off upon some journey, a flight, or a voyage; years later, Jimmy’s own footsteps would lead him to those very same places where once his mind alone had wandered.
The selections brought together in The Occasional Margareader represent a great many of those volumes that fill Jimmy’s personal bookshelves. They’re the writers and the writings that he’s mentioned in his stories, referenced in his liner notes, and alluded to down through the years in songs you truly do know by heart. In short, they reflect Jimmy’s tastes in reading, and here you can sample them in, more or less, buffet style. Some of these works are meant to be nibbled; others are meant to be savored. And more than a few must be chewed quite slowly, before they can be taken all in. As with any buffet, of course, what you choose (and what you chew!) is altogether up to you. So, you can flip through this volume and read what you wish Then, if you want, return for a second helping or more. That is, after all, what Jimmy Buffett would do.
If nothing else, reading this collection should act as a nudge to be up and away: to visit a library, to fill up a bookshelf, or simply to see someplace (real or imagined) that you otherwise might never have witnessed. Soar through the clouds with Charles A. Lindbergh and Peter Pan, drift on the water with William Faulkner and Juan Cadiz, or stroll along the shoreline with Anne Morrow Lindbergh and young Jim Hawkins. Always keep in mind, though, that Jimmy’s been to all of these places at least one time before you.