Just home and already packing again.

Mom sets herself to making the next pot of coffee.

“You’re not making decalf.”

“Half.”

I pout.

“It’s so late in the day!”

“It’s 9am!”

“2 scoops regular, 1 scoop decalf.”

First step in preparing for the move to Philadelphia is weeding the bookshelf.  This requires, really, high octane coffee to fend off the jet lag and the urge to be unconscious rather than tackle the question: ‘What is the philosophy of my bookshelf?’

Is the bookshelf for the reader or for the hypothetical judge the reader’s intellect?  Can you get rid of only inferior books?  If you ever enjoyed a book are you bound to it forever?  I once thought I should keep everything I was forced to read in college so that the bookshelf could be a monument (or memorial) to my education.  But do I really need that Nabokov that I hated?  The introductory sociology text from the 1990s?

If only I could resist the urge to possess words and borrow them instead.  The library is (theoretically) so much more cost effective.  But just yesterday I picked up Frank McCourt’s memoirs for no other reason than because it cost a dollar.

I will be drowning in half-read books every time I move residences for the rest of my life.

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One comment

  1. The real trick is to have two sets of books on ones throughly over stuffed book shelves. You have the books that you want to show off out front and then the books that you really like (and some of the ones that you don’t but can’t get rid of) behind those. That way you get to seem extra smart, and have twice as many books as you should really have in the same space. So long as you cause a floor collapse your golden.


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