I lead a dull and aimless life. I have nothing but time and a few obligations. Frankly I find those few obligations quite onerous, they do beat one down. Lest you think this is going to turn into a whine, be of good cheer, it isn’t.

What have I been doing lately? A lot of reading. I tried to count up how many books I’ve read so far this year and it looks to be about 80. Have they been great literature? No, not by a long shot. Mostly mysteries/murder/detective type books. Mostly series – I’d read a series straight through – some were only 3 books, some 6, one that I am plowing through now is currently at 63 but I’ve already read the last 25 or so as they came out so I’m just catching up on the first in the series dating back to 1995.

Yes, I’ve read a few novels, but I’m really not much into novels except for Elizabeth Strout of course. I’ve reread 2 of hers this year and I’m waiting for her latest to hit the library – I’ll probably be late to that party and wind up 83rd on the waiting list. Yes, I could just buy the book as I’ve bought all her previous ones but it just seems foolish to buy books – especially at this time of my life. Just more stuff to take up space on the shelf. The odd thing about my buying of books these last few years is that I get the book from the library and then buy a copy after I’ve read it. Seems silly.

I periodically clear out the book shelves – what is the point to keeping books I shall never look at again? I’ve got the Harry Potter books in hardcover – I pre-ordered every one of them (oh does anyone remember the excitement and anticipation when the next volume was due to be published?) They take up half a shelf and I look at them and think “Why are they still here? I know I shall never  read them again.

I’ve got a Dell paperback (price 35¢), 4th Dell printing, 1958, of “Bonjour Tristesse” by Francoise Sagan.

The pages are brown with age, and crispy. And the book kinda smells funny. I don’t recall when I bought the book. I was only 12 in 1958 and while I was precocious as all hell when it came to reading material, I can’t think I bought this book then – perhaps a few years later? – I can see myself at 15 buying and reading this book. Which means this little book is 60 years old. I’ve been carting this book around for 60 years! (How many times have I moved in 60 years? Rough count? 19 and that doesn’t include temporary housing where I didn’t have my stuff).

Have I reread this book at any time in the last 60 years? No, not within memory, tho for all I can remember I might have reread it when I was young.

And my question is: Why have I never dumped this book? Why, when I started writing this, was this the first book I went looking for on the shelf? I don’t remember what it is about. Every time I winnow books this one stays. And stays.

Perhaps it’s time I re-read it.  But I can’t. This copy would not survive the handling and I just checked and my local library does not have an ebook copy.

Shall this book live forever on my shelf? Unread. Or rather, un-reread. Shall I ever know what has made me keep it all this years?

11 thoughts on “Books…

    1. The book went back on the shelf – whether I shall ever re-read it – that would depend on whether I want to buy another copy. And I doubt I could ever know why I’ve kept it. Perhaps if I reread it that might give me a clue – it’s a mystery to me!

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  1. Sagan was 17 when she published that. I have never read it, so who am I to judge? Yet somehow “banality” springs to mind.

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  2. I carted so many books with me for years and like you didn’t end up re-reading any of them. It was hard parting with them at first, but I didn’t end up missing them. That said, if I had a very old one, I’d probably be compelled to hang on to it, even if I wasn’t sure why. 🙂

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    1. There was a time I collected old books just for the thrill of having an old book. I never read most of them and I got rid of them a long time ago – carting 50-60 book boxes around was getting expensive.

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  3. Your love of books is one of the many things I love about you! I wish I could give your collection a good home or share them with my neighbors through our Little Free Library…. But something tells me your collections is precious and deserves a more fitting disposition. I do hope you consider sharing them with the Baby Princesses perhaps? Something from Gram that they can cherish.

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    1. There are books on my shelves that I’ll keep forever because they have a lot of emotional baggage attached to them – like “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” published in 1936 and held together with packing tape – I couldn’t make heads or tails of it when I was 10 years old or so but I learned and I loved. My princesses have so many books that also exist on my shelves – classic children’s books like Winnie the Pooh – I should send them “Kids Pick the Funniest Poems” – I used to read to their mother from that book. Oy, way to make me feel old – LOL


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