Saturday, April 09, 2005

Book Day

Today revolved around books once again. We went to Target and bought a 4-shelf bookcase (60 dollars), self-assembly thing. I also satisfied a life ambition with the purchase of a King of the Hill t-shirt for 9.99. I can now wander round with Dale Gribble staring proudly from my chest.

I constructed the bookcase, with some help from Hannah. It looks good and is now loaded with the books I've accumulated since December (about 70), I keep looking at it, admiring it. And while I'm admiring the bookcase and the books, a part of my mind is admonishing me, saying, "Jason! You are looking at a bookcase! Stop it!" But the other part of my mind just says, "Jason! You're not doing anyone any harm and you're having fun..." After a while, I stop.

Now, a tale of two books. One, The Speakers, by Heathcote Williams has arrived. This is a really essential book, it's an account of the group of people who gathered at Hyde Park Corner in the 60s, to stand on their platforms and address the crowds, espousing their crackpot religious and conspiracy theories, etc. This tradition goes back many years, just one of those small parts of London life. Hyde Park Corner is still a site of unfettered public oratory, although the police video and make audio tapes of people these days, as society cannot tolerate divergent thinking under the shadow of 9/11 and Al-Qaida, it would seem (and incitement to religious hatred is watched for, too).

Book two, A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole. This book has infuriated me for years. Hannah insisted on giving it a try, perhaps tempted by the Pulitzer Prize and the high praise of the dustjacket. She found it to be as wretched as I found it all those years ago, and since then it has lingered like a bad smell in a corner of the bedroom. This evening, we finally got decisive, and ceremonially sent it down the garbage chute in our apartment block, off to occupy a landfill site somewhere. This book is so awful, we would not want anyone else to suffer to read so much as a word from it.

4 Comments:

Blogger HF said...

I can certainly understand the appeal of staring at bookshelves! The nerdish pleasure of the collector is combined with a feeling of looking out on some wide horizon from a point high up. Quite unique.

3:09 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

yup, i've bought books to fend off the anxiety of having left them all at alasdair's

1:09 PM  
Blogger L said...

I love love love love books & can definitely relate. I am so nerdy :)

8:16 PM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

my laptop has just reminded me that although i love books, i actually slept one night with my arms wrapped around my laptop when it first arrived.

11:45 PM  

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