Stuck in the middle with Paul Auster

When I was a child, I didn’t really dream about my wedding or play with Barbies. I played with books (and horses, but that’s a different point). And I dreamed rather of having my very own room in a house wherein there would be only books, a leather chair, and a large window with heavy drapes. And now I also imagine some brandy sitting in a classy glass decanter thing, but mostly I just thought about the drapes when I was a kid.

To this end, I decided to keep nearly every book I’ve ever read. I now have shelves and shelves bursting with books, not to mention a few boxes of children’s books languishing up in the attic. The Boxcar Children are probably pretty sad about that.

The trouble with this strategy came up when I began working at a bookstore in high school. Knowing that I had my discount only while I was an employee, I decided to buy as many books as I figured I could get through in a year. I thought at the time that I could catch up to the books, but my college workload made reading less fun than it should have been, and I gradually forgot about a few of the books I most wanted to read.

When I was  a child, I kept each book in alphabetical order according to author (regardless of genre), but during college, my painstaking orderliness was morphed into a jumble as books were stashed on top of others when I came home for three-day vacations only to flit back to college with a brand new armload of books in the trunk.

So last weekend, I decided to go through my books and reorganize them. I now have a neat bookshelf dedicated only to books I’ve meant to read and never finished, and I’m hoping I can empty the shelf before the end of 2010.

I’ve now begun the first book on the shelf, Paul Auster’s The Brooklyn Follies. I’ll let you know how the book goes in the next entry, but let me just say that this little spring winter cleaning has made me realize that there has been so much I’ve missed out on because it’s been buried by other, more important things. Auster is an author I’ve long been advised to check out by a close friend. Because it never seemed pressing, I set the book aside to be tackled at a later time, but it has taken me more than a year to get around to it. So I hereby dedicate this year to doing things I’ve always meant to get around to do. After all, now I have a little time to kill, in the evenings at least.

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