Wednesday, November 02, 2005

They're in

All the bulbs I had, I planted. It's going to be thin on the ground in the Courtyard Garden, but maybe I'll try this restraint thing people tell me of.

Yesterday was the third day of Perfect Weather in a row, probably the best we've had all year. Whimper. Dancing on the grass, sunbathing. It is so good, and so very much borrowed time.

The blessed rage for order has departed, I fear. The house looks like a ransacked warehouse. I have more of my books available and in categories than I have in some years. It is more than a little strange to walk past a bookshelf and have my 14-year-old self from 1970 wave at me, then another shelf - pow, 1991-- then another, 1986... .

I have too many books. Even more than I have too much stash, and I have a lot of stash. I reread the fiction, sometimes much too often: there are several authors (Jennifer Crusie, Terry Pratchett, Lois McMasters Bujold)I can about lip-sync, have to leave them for a few years. If I don't either remember the stories strongly or reread them, they can go to the used bookstore or wherever.

The non-fiction is more difficult. I am not likely to read Howard Carter's three volumes on the Tomb of Tutankhamen again any time soon, but I remember how pleased I was to get it. Ditto James Breasted's history of ancient Egypt, which is probably so outdated it should be in History of Ideas instead of history. But I am reluctant to say goodbye to the person who loved ancient Egypt. The huge trove of left-of-center Roman Catholic theology and pastoral ministry is even worse, has less of a market, and was part of me much more recently. I don't think I am going to get my faith r my interest back enough to work in that field, but... .

I pared down the beading and the quilting and the embroidery books and some of the stash. but how many books on watercolors do I need when I don't ever paint? But I would like to. It's not that I collect books -- I don't collect books, I collect information. I collect options. I think a lot of different kinds of stash are about collecting the chance to be a slightly different person, perhaps a completely different one.

What I am reading:Mapping Mars, by Oliver Morton. A lovely book, the best-written science journalism I have had in a while. It is the history of the exploration of Mars with reflections on the planet's impact in our culture. The writer is British, so he makes silly remarks and discusses Alan Moore's Watchmen comic books and Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series with reasoned and affectionate analysis. I want a sequel to bring it up to date.

Windfall by Rachel caine. Meterology and sorcery. This is the fourth in the series (Ill Wind being the first) and while they are not Tolstoy, you probably won't hate yourself for enjoying them.


Laurie said...

Collection of options, information is exactly it. It is also an expression of hope for one's intellectual and emotional future. There is some of that in yarn and roving, too.

Juno said...

God, I love that - I have books on things I'll never learn to do, poetry I haven’t read, history I know too little about - but I cannot part with them because I love the idea of having that information there, the possibility of learning, the potential they represent.

Well said.