Monday, September 02, 2013
a strange state of affairs
With the return of the cooler weather I hope to be back writing here more often than of late. For now I will say this - I don't have much book news to report, since week after week of golden summer weather kept me out of doors for the most part, far away from the book room and all it contains and represents. Besides, what little I have been reading recently has been the strangest stuff, books that are unclassifiable - art, religion, literature, memoir, all rolled into one, with no rhyme, reason, or pattern. I've been steering clear of bookshops, too (saving my pennies for art supplies instead), so very little new reading material has come my way. A strange state of affairs in this household! I haven't found much to sell, either, and have been actively avoiding friends-of-the-library sales, though in an antiques shop recently I did pick up a signed John Updike book for five bucks, a hardcover anthology of short stories which he edited and then autographed on the title page. That lovely find sparked my interest in book-hunting again, which has languished in the past year to what must be a twenty-year low. The spark is still there, but it's not strong enough to propel me to go out and seriously buy again. I'm not sure why, it's not that I don't still love buying, selling, and reading books as much as always, for they continue to tug at my heart- and purse-strings whenever I'm in their vicinity. I just no longer want to acquire, in the way I once did. Books or otherwise. In fact, the opposite. I look around and think What is all this stuff? Even though the 'stuff' was and is greatly loved. And so I carefully continue to cull and sell things from my own collection, and even though five years has now passed (how, I do not know) since I closed my own little bookshop, I still have inventory, bookshelves, supplies, and souvenirs from that time, amassed in a tidy corner in our spare room. This fall I plan to delve in and see if I can't lay those ghosts to rest once and for all. Who knows what I will find? Wish me luck. I approach this project with the same trepidation I would bring to revisiting a cache of old love letters. Not that I have any of those sitting around (ahem).