Sunday, January 14, 2018

All. The. Books.

I have finished going through all of the books (well, all of the books in the guest room . . .)  We have three laundry baskets full that will go to Friends of the Library.  Does this mean that now I'll move out a bookshelf and move in my lady's desk and make the Gryffindor reading room?

Heck, no.  The remaining books have stretched and fluffed and those sitting sideways on top of other books are now actually on the shelf in a proper upright position and the end result is about 2 1/2 empty shelves.  Which Bob is eyeing with lust in his heart--his room is a bit overflowing (which is a major understatement).  Yeah--go ahead.  I'll come up with a Plan B for Gryffindor.

So has that been a waste of several days of going through a few hundred books?  No, actually.  I *like* books, and specifically, I like *my* books.  I was thinking that if I went to someone's house and saw these books on a shelf, that I would like to get to know this person.  And it's nice to have them dusted and tidy and a few have been selected for reading in the near future.   The hard part was giving up some of the ones that I actually like.  For example--since I was a kid, I've been a fan of Sherlock Holmes.  But how many "complete collections" do I really need?  (answer--two.  One with the original illustrations and an annotated version.  I like annotations when I'm feeling intellectual but find them distracting if I just want to enjoy the story).  How many copies of Beowulf do I need?  (answer--four.  One of my original textbook with linquistic and literary criticism, my Seamus Heany one because it was translated by a poet and kept the feel of the original, one from 1939 that was a give from a former boss and has some interesting art deco illustrations and one that's a graphic novel, aka comic book)

And you do find gems.  One is a collection of letters from famous women.  The book was published in 1929  (have I mentioned that I like *old* books?).  What gave me pause was the introduction, decrying the dying art of letter-writing:

"The typewriter has done away with the pen; a machine age, which was to have provided leisure, demands more hours in service to it than did the time of hand crafts and long working days.  The motion picture, the radio, the motor car, the washing machine are jealous masters. "

What would the author think of the millions of people now enslaved to their cell phones?

Bob's lighting a fire--I think I'll go read a book.

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