I won’t be reading…

a number of books I collected, boxed, and placed into temporary storage yesterday (where they’ll remain for another three months: attempting to pack up all my books in the last weeks of August would be sheer folly).  Considering all the works I want to get through this summer, it was somewhat satisfying to confirm, finally, there are books to which I presently feel no obligation.

I did cheat a little: included among the books put away are multiple copies of  Shakespeare plays, and a number of young adult, course texts, and other works I recently finished reading, and am therefore unlikely to reread any time soon (Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now, Bok’s Crystallography, and Updike’s Gertrude and Claudius).  There are also books I read last summer (David Mitchell and Nick Hornby feature prominently here) and books I’ve procured that I’ve been unable to finish out of boredom (Court of the Air), or for which I’ve never held any interest (titles not included here).

There are, however, a number of books that I packed up, which I’ve never read (at least not completely), but to which I’ve simply admitted defeat for the present moment.  I won’t be reading (I can admit it), Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick, Vidal’s Julian, Darwin’s Descent of Man, or Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise.  Not this summer.

Then there are those books I put away with just a little bit of glee: goodbye Henry James, and Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics.  And Plato’s Republic (we’ve seen far too much of each other in the last five years).

Of course, the distinction between books packed and books left out is somewhat arbitrary: I still have the Mabinogen and the Wakefield Pageants left on my shelves.  I’m cynical about my possibilities of reading these works.  It’s hard to let go sometimes (also, they wouldn’t fit in the box).

I suppose I shall have to keep updating the list of books on which I’ve given up this summer as I incrementally pack them away.  The tone of these records might grow ever more desperate or disoriented as this happens (I’m rather attached to my library).  I take comfort knowing that at least they will have new shelves in which to live next fall.

Which reminds me that I ought to have made a fuss over the subject of me yesterday.  It’s difficult, though, to makes these gestures when one’s friends have already done so.  It makes my writing here somewhat redundant.  Instead I’ll just include some neat photos.



This is going to make typing quotes a lot easier.

Ideally, I would have taken these photos with the miniature lecturn perched atop my new bookshelves, but they too are neatly stored away (in an unassembled state).  Such photos will have to wait until fall.

Thank you to the usual cabal for the books and book-related objects (including Shakespeare in Love).  And for the food and company.  You are delightful.  And I, as I was last year, am still brilliant.

16 May 2009 ~ St. Catharines


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