It is a beautiful morning. There is a fair bit of cloud but, at the moment, the sun is streaming in through the window. When it gets too bright, I find myself typing with my eyes shut. (Thank you, dad, for making me do that touch typing course during my honours year!)
When I was thinking about what to write today my first thought was my haul from the Save the Children Book Sale that has just finished at UWA. I posted a picture on Sunday to Facebook with the comment ‘A picture of restraint’.
Books v shoes
Have I mentioned before that I live in the midst of a bookshelf crisis? There are worse things. Much worse.
That said, I am aware that I need to deal with the books I have before adding too much more. My ambition for the day was to be restrained.
So, I walked into the sale at the Undercroft of Winthrop Hall with a plan. I was going to be restrained. I was going to just look out for something special.
I had limited time: I was parked in a 30 minute bay, I was meeting a friend for a writing date in 45 minutes.
I didn’t bring a carry bag and I promised myself I would only purchase what I could carry comfortably in one trip back to the car.
I set a budget. A modest one.
It was nominal.
Who knew what I might find and whether such a bargain would mean that the budget would need… NEED…to be revised?
It is lucky I don’t enjoy shopping for shoes. Imagine how that could play out. That said, I often wander around in the morning thinking I’d like to have more/different shoes. I just don’t want to go shopping for them.
And where would I put them?
It is only a couple of weeks since I posted a different picture of books picked up on a whim.
The thing is, they don’t just need to be housed. They need to be accessioned. They are lined up and waiting.
Perhaps I should have been a librarian. It was tempting. That whole must-be-quiet and must-share-books-with-anyone was a concern.
I’m not the only person who checks with a friend – a friend, not a stranger – that they will take care of the volume they are about to take into their custody, am I?
I don’t know about how other people handle their home-libraries. I have a spread sheet that I try to maintain. I use an online service that helps me to not double up on purchases when mooching turns serious.
Helps, but doesn’t always prevent…
At the moment, the spread sheet and the book list don’t match up. There’s a discrepancy of probably about a 100 books between them at the moment. The only way to know where the problem is would be to do a full stocktake.
That won’t be happening this weekend, or next.
To be honest, it’s the sort of dusty chore that I like to take care of over the summer holidays with fans cranked to high and the promise of a swim at the end of the day’s work. Bring on the summer break!
Moderate, and not
As I welcomed the latest additions into the family by adding them to the spread sheet and the online service I discovered that I had doubled up on a volume, the 2006 edition of Best Australian Essays. My first copy is one of those books that hadn’t made it into the online list. Not to worry, I think I have a friend who will like the spare copy.
I already knew that I had a copy of The Faerie Queene. The copy already on my shelf is battered and does need replacing. Well, not replacing as such. It has my notes as an undergrad. Along with someone else’s. I can’t jettison those. The scruffy and much-better-looked-after will need to reside companionably on the shelf. Once I figure out how to fit them in.
There are a couple of books that I brought home that I have been looking for for ages. Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer is one of those. I am looking forward to reading that!
Some of the others I picked up specifically for friends and family. I can’t wait to see the reaction to the edition of Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets illustrated by Caitlin Keegan when I hand it over.
I must hand it over.
Perhaps I should write that out a hundred times…
Bibliophilia and logophilia
So here I am, loving books and words. I’ve thought about this a bit over the years. I even started to sketch out a play called Logos years ago. (I was living in the Pilbara. The days were long and, often, hot…)
There is the material aspect of the books. The layout and design. The bookplates and stamps that I use for labelling. There is the flow of words through the pen or keyboard, under the eye, on the tongue.
Any time spent with them is a joy. Even when they don’t come easily. Even when they threaten to cascade over the desk and knock teacups to the floor.
I have to go out for the usual Saturday things-to-be-done reasons.
It is a bit of a wrench today. I look forward to coming back to my desk to finish this latest round of accessioning and working on the scrawl.
Of course, I’ll probably add to both while I’m out and about.