Fabulous Girl's Boudoir

Monday, March 31, 2008

Love me, love my books

This NYT article resonated with me particularly because I made very tough choices of what to bring and what to pass back into the bookosphere when I moved across the country (for the second time). All my books now fit on two of these (of course mine are full), and I'm very proud of my culled collection. Criteria included the actually irreplacable (out-of-print, for example), my top five*, complete sets (His Dark Materials, Tariq Ali's Islam series), prized cookbooks, and whatever I was currently reading (as I generally have 2-3 on the go at a time).

And now, a year later, the book shelves remain similarly sparse. The cookbooks have moved off the shelves into the kitchen, and there's enough room on the shelves for a resting spot for the computer and a stack of current magazines, but there's a bag of books on its way to The Strand for re-release, and I don't feel the need to keep every book that comes my way anymore. Thank heavens for small apartments.

*If you could only have five books, what would you keep? Mine (resolutely leaving all series aside) are:

Franny & Zooey (Salinger)
Pilgrim (Findley)
A Suitable Boy (Seth) - an especially good choice for the proverbial desert island at 1488 pgs.
The Tale of Genji (Shikibu) - also a long haul
and ...

Damn, I can't pick a fifth. Possession (Byatt), and The Time Traveler's Wife (Niffenegger) (best book I've read in the past two years, hands down) vie for contention, along with The Life of Pi (Martel). And I don't feel defensive about them at all. I've read some of the classics, but I don't tote them about to appear, well, anything. You'll most frequently find me reading The New Yorker (which I'm sure is a statement in its own right, particularly in, say, Big Timber, MT), but has at least as much to do with its weight and my competitive streak (must stay ahead of subscription!) as anything else

And what do you think about this paragraph?
Let’s face it — this may be a gender issue. Brainy women are probably more sensitive to literary deal breakers than are brainy men. (Rare is the guy who’d throw a pretty girl out of bed for revealing her imperfect taste in books.) After all, women read more, especially when it comes to fiction. “It’s really great if you find a guy that reads, period,” said Beverly West, an author of “Bibliotherapy: The Girl’s Guide to Books for Every Phase of Our Lives.” Jessa Crispin, a blogger at the literary site Bookslut.com, agrees. “Most of my friends and men in my life are nonreaders,” she said, but “now that you mention it, if I went over to a man’s house and there were those books about life’s lessons learned from dogs, I would probably keep my clothes on.”



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