Craig builds me another bookshelf, slaps his hands together thinking, 'whew, that'll take care of the BOOK PROBLEM'. Little does he know that I have stacks of books waiting for a home, so it is filled immediately and we still have a book problem!
My fantasies usually include books. I'd like to bring my sleeping bag to Powell's in Portland and just live there for a month with my thermos, favorite pen and journal. Or do a trip with books and bookstores either for dessert or the main course. Legends like Strymish's New England Mobile Book Fair or the summer book fair in Hay-on-Wye in England where literally millions of books get touched, sold, traded and even junked. These are ON MY LIST! Anyone want to come with me? My stamina will outlast yours, I promise. Well, maybe a couple of friends could go neck and neck with me till we're all passed out and cross-eyed, friends like Chris, Rhonda and possibly my mom.
How a book smells, how it feels, what the cover is made of, the paper, the typeface, the bookplate. Would words like 'caress then eat' conjure up what I feel when I hold a book? Typically, in a bookstore I have two in one hand, one opened in the other and am so distracted by the hundreds on the shelf that I might be missing, that finally I discipline myself to the heaviest stack possible, carry them to a chair, which then stays occupied for hours.
Vacuuming would describe it best. Not a little dust devil with a miniature bag either, janitorial giant suction. Or, picture a baleen whale diving to the bottom, sucking up piles of everything, sieving it, spitting out the useless and swallowing the nutritious. Often at the end of the pile, there is a feeling of being disoriented. After all, maybe I've traveled miles, eaten some surprises, met some fascinating stimulating people, thought new thoughts, gotten angry, felt sad, experienced new cultures or gone back in time. Coming to again after such a feast is like a trip........and it's all free.
Speaking of which, it is impossible to go on without doing my best curtsy and expressing extreme gratefulness for the magical world of libraries and the words they dispense free of charge. Thank you God, Hank Ford, the Rocketfellows, Vanderbuilders or whoever started them.......and all the Marian's out there. Thank you! From the bottom of my heart.
This summer, I got rid of - purged, about 80% of my books. Scariest thing ever. Looking back, I think it was necessary, but partly it was a reaction, a way to scream, a line of demarcation on my time line of life. A bold 'before and after' line. So, there is room on my bookshelves for books for the first time in our lives! I'm going to be selective, on purpose and start collecting. The first edition or condition isn't really important, but because I thoroughly chew up a book, make it my own by writing in it, it sort of becomes a journal and really personal. Mine. We have enmeshed into each other, the author, the book and me (or is it I?) :)
Enthusiastically told Craig about my new 'reading program' I was going to put myself on; he looked totally puzzled, as there are piles of books by our bed, in the bathroom, every table and basket anywhere and everywhere. Reading is what I do! He was wondering, what's new?
The thing is that over all these years there are certain authors who keep popping up being quoted over and over again and I haven't read them, just keep reading the reference to them. Some first hand opinions and introductions are in order now! I could have some new best friends, well, some of them could be dead, huh? You probably want to know my list? Sorry, you have to get your own. Or come over, sit with me, have coffee and peruse my shelves that will soon be bulging again. OK, OK! G.K. Chesterton is one of them...........