Monday, August 2, 2010

Memorable books

Packed my books today. I'm not taking as many as I'd thought. I think my mom's constant reminder to "take as little as possible" is having some effect on my packing.

It was interesting to see which books were chosen. I didn't think about it too hard, just tossed them in the "yes" or "no" piles. A lot of the books I went through were school books...books from literature classes. I think being a writing major doubled my library! Makes me glad I had a major that required books that were worth keeping.

Most of the lit books were English literature. I've apparently gotten over being tired of Jane Austen, because her entire works went in. As did many Bronte books (Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Agnes Grey). I didn't put in Villette, but then again I never finished it, and most of the books I chose to take were ones I finished. Or at least tried very hard to finish. Or ones that I want to read someday. Like Hard Times.

Faulkner was completely left out. Much as I love the man, I need a little more time to recover from having an entire class on him. The same thing happened with Austen...I've just had a little more time. Moby Dick is also staying here. A lot of American literature is staying, actually. I don't know what I have against it, but it just isn't my favorite. However, I am taking Crime and Punishment, because it was one of my favorites from high school, and I have delusions that I'll actually reread it and figure out which of the characters has lavender gloves (one of the quiz questions).

I also went through the drawers under my bed, and almost all of them are empty. I found all of the papers I ever wrote in college, which is a little telling about how much of a packrat I am. I'm pretty embarrassed at some of the ones I threw together at the last minute. I'd like to go back in time and kick my freshman/sophomore self and tell her to write them a week earlier!! I could have gotten straight As. But I did read over one of them (on Alice in Wonderland, a poem by Kipling, and Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market) that could have been good if I'd...oh, I don't over it before handing in? Sigh. I'm going to try to get better at this procrastination issue, but considering I'm leaving in ten days for Texas and I haven't even finished reading the required book yet...well, I might need to try a little harder.

There are a lot of memories in my books. Not just physical things in the books, like dried flowers and notes written in the margins, but memories that only reappear when I open the pages and read the words that I probably only skimmed before. Sometimes when I'm reading over a passage, I can hear the conversation that was going on around me, or I remember what music was playing when I was reading the first time. The words are like little time capsules to the past. Too bad they only connect me to my past. I suppose the author's is in there somewhere...

Someday I want to reread these books. Austen, Faulkner, Melville...okay, maybe not Melville. But I do want to reread the books I was "forced" to read. So many times, it's the second time through that the book clicks finally for me. It was like that with The Sound and the Fury. We read it as seniors in college, part of Modern Literature. It was an epic undertaking, as any reading of Faulkner is, and my copy of the book has the battle scars to prove it. Highlighting, pen and pencil marks, scribbles at the ends and beginnings of chapters. I loved it the first time through, but the second time, I understood it. And I loved it more. (The third time through I was sick of it, but probably only because I needed more break time. That's the problem with being a lit get repeat books, and sometimes even repeat discussions. I think I had three of those. The Sound and the Fury, Pride and Prejudice, and....something American by either Hemingway or Fitzgerald.)

(I feel the need to add that not all of my books fall under the category of "literature." I packed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, which is perfectly fluffy fiction, as well as three of David Sedaris' books. Which probably do fall under the category of "literature," but they are hilarious and books I would read any day or night without complaint. Unlike Moby Dick. Or anything by Fitzgerald.)

Long post. Sorry about that. I always get excited when it comes to books. Can you blame me?


  1. Nope, can't blame you at all. If I don't have a backup book when I go somewhere, I am not at ease. I never know when I'm going to get a few minutes to enjoy my reading when I'm away from the house.

    I love your background on this web site.

  2. Thanks! I love it, too. It reminds me of Victorian's the closest I could get to William Morris. :)