Saturday, June 03, 2006

I read something in Time

that makes me really sad. Here it is:

"I think America is an increasingly book-free country. In the world of my boyhood, there were books everywhere. Your piano teacher had books, and there were lending libraries everywhere--your department store had a lending library. Books are still bought, and you see them being read in airplanes, but it's a last resort, isn't it?"
-John Updike

I really wish I could have been there. Then I could have said. "Okay, Mr. Updike, I need to show you something." Then I would have taken him to Bloomington, Indiana, to my cramped little apartment, and shown him all the books. Books everywhere! Not a last resort!

My apartment is literally stuffed with books. Some time ago I decided that for it to be truly home, all of my books needed to come with me. In multiple trips, Mark and I hauled them up here form Clarksville and I set out to find space for them. We bought a new bookcase and two smaller sets of shelves, and I stuck books everywhere--in the chink between the microwave and the wall (the microwave sits upon old cubes filled with books), in the bedroom closet on the top shelf where clothes are supposed to go, in the "hallway" alcove in whatever space I could find there. I discovered the best bookrests are more books, stacked horizontally, quite tall. And they all fit!

So anyways, I have this thing about owning my books, which is why I've never been a big library person. I don't like to feel any pressure to finish the book. I also like to write notes in the book as I'm reading, underline and mark passages I like, and so forth. I suppose if I ever catch up on my backlog, I will try the whole library thing. I do have a library card for the Monroe County Public Library. Speaking of which, my reading list is down to 33 books. Good for me.

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