Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Life and Times of a Bibliophile

Today the Harvard Bookstore had its semiannual warehouse book sale. Thank Goddess I remembered; I almost forgot it was happening until I looked on Twitter and saw a reminder. I looked forward to it all last night, sitting in my cozy, already book lined apartment, (reading on my Kindle- Ha Ha!) knowing that Saturday would include a productive day of top notch book browsing. 

You see, even though I shouldn't even buy one more book, a book lover cannot, should not resist the semiannual Harvard Bookstore warehouse book sale! It would be sacrilegious.

There are very few real bookstores left anywhere these you've got to get what you can.

Finding parking in Somerville was not easy--- every geek and his goofy girlfriend was out, including wandering professors and other weirdos. I fit right in, and made a bee line into the warehouse straight for the Science and History Departments. (( Luckily there are subjects I'm definitely not interested in, like Math, astronomy, and cooking. I skirted around these shelves.)) History was packed, but I made my way up and down the aisle, skillfully practicing book browsing etiquette. Unfortunately some people would not budge, and I had to revisit. 

One criteria for not buying some books I saw was that I already owned several unread books on the same subject. For instance they had several great selections on Abraham Lincoln, but I didn't buy one. Abraham Lincoln and his generals. Lincoln during his prairie days. Lincoln and his depression. I thought of all the books on Abraham Lincoln I have yet to read. 

Good old Abe.Apparently thousands of books about Lincoln have been written.....

Meanwhile I overheard a man ask a woman: "Do you think you could read all these books in your lifetime?" (I sensed it was their first date.) She said "yes" and I thought it was a stupid answer. I thought:"She's just trying to impress him, or she's an airy head optimistic." They were younger than me, but still you can't read all the books you want to read in your lifetime. Maybe I thought that when I was younger, because I had fewer interests, and there were books yet to written! But I know now that unless you want to be a recluse hiding in your room, ceasing interaction with the world, then you can't read all the books you want to read.

So there has to be some other reason to buy books, or no reason at all. I know I'll never read them all, but I still want a collection anyway. Depending on my mood, I might read any one of them at any time, or even reread some. That's why I get old favorites, too, of books I've already read.For example today I bought "When God Was a Woman," which I read a million years ago. How can an arch feminist not have a copy of "When God was a Woman?" How can a New Englander not own Thoreau's Walden? How can a queer not have Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's? How can a liberal American not have "The People's History of the United States?" The list goes on and on. 

The newbies to the collection:

A Listmania! list by cataylor122
Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals
1.  Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals by Temple Grandin

What the Buddha Taught
2.  What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula

The Book of Deadly Animals
3.  The Book of Deadly Animals by Gordon Grice

POPism: The Warhol Sixties
4.  POPism: The Warhol Sixties 

The Mind's Eye
5.  The Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks

100 Selected Poems
6.  100 Selected Poems by E. E. Cummings

Eudora Welty: A Biography
7.  Eudora Welty: A Biography by Suzanne Marrs

Elizabeth's Women
8.  Elizabeth's Women by Tracy Borman

The First North Americans: An Archaeological Journey
9.  The First North Americans: An Archaeological Journey by Brian M. Fagan

When God Was a Woman
10.  When God Was a Woman by Merlin Stone

Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
11.  Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by George Francis Dow

The Tribes of Britain
12.  The Tribes of Britain by David Miles

Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women , Work, and the Family, from Slavery to the Present
13.  Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women , Work, and the Family, from Slavery to the Present by Jacqueline Jones

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