So, I’m getting rid of books. Not all books, but a lot of books. Not today, but soon. And in looking at the books, handling the books, deciding about the books I realised that I’ve read a lot of books.
A. Lot. Of. Books.
Not just read them, but owned them. Possessed (been possessed by?) them. I have been biblioavaricious.
And now it’s time for things to stop. For books to leave. And I’m saying goodbye to those that are going. Some are staying, many (too many?) will not go until I go, but this is my goodbye to books. In no particular order, and for no particular reason, for as long as I can bear it or be bothered.
F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
A keeper. I read it for A-Level English, but that’s not why I’m keeping it. It’s definitely not the cover that earns it a place on the ‘staying around’ shelves. I don’t even particularly like the novel, as a novel. So why is it staying?
Because the simplicity of Fitzgerald’s writing, the clarity of his view of America, the starkness of his characters: the greed, the insouciant belief they are all chosen for ‘something’, the sheer beauty of his brevity all make this a novel to read again and again.
J. M. Coetzee – The Master of Petersburg
Saying goodbye. It’s a good book of the palimpsest variety, where shifting interpretations reveal the unreliability of character and of events taken for granted as truth and fact, but it’s not the best of Coetzee, to my mind.
I will be hanging onto one, or maybe two, of his novels, bizarrely, I will keep one that I know I am probably never going to read again and say goodbye to this one that I probably would read again, but there’s no logic to bibliomania …