Bringing In the Harvest

imgres.jpgAs of last night I have rummaged through all of my bookshelves and sent several hundred books off to the Book Exchange and the Goodwill store with my neighbor’s burly son’s assistance. Suffice it to say that many of those books were very difficult to give up but for the most part they met my criteria for abandonment:

  • I already read the book
  • I have a verified digital copy of the book
  • I don’t see myself ever reading the book
  • The print is too small to even try to read the book.

The biggest reason not related to print size is that I have or can easily obtain a digital copy of the book. Wait: that is still related to print size since I can now alter the font so that my eyes might thank me.

One nice thing about electronic books is that, unlike many of my older books, they inevitably smell better … ah, the smell of iPhone in the morning.

The next couple of months I am going to try and reduce the book-bulk by reading as many of the hard bound, slightly larger font with more white space novels that I have been ignoring for way too long. I’m still keeping a few digital titles to justify the cost of iPhones and iPads, but I’m challenging myself to read the ink and paper novels I mostly picked up at used book sales or at Barnes & Nobel from the remainder rack. 

I expect there might be a few clunkers here but there are also books of extraordinary value. Here is this month’s list:

  1. A Simple Story — S. Y. Agnon *
  2. Slouching Towards Bethlehem — Joan Didion
  3. The Big Money — John Dos Passos
  4. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana — Umberto Eco
  5. Dreaming In Cuban — Cristina Garcia
  6. She Drove Without Stopping — Jaimy Gordon
  7. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages — Tom Holt *
  8. J — Howard Jacobson *
  9. Angel Dust Apocalypse — Jeremy Robert Johnson
  10. The Man Who Spoke Snakish — Andrus Kivirähk *
  11. The Bear Went Over the Mountain: A Novel — William Kotzwinkle
  12. The Decay of the Angel — Yukio Mishima *
  13. The Night Watch — Patrick Modiano *
  14. King, Queen, Knave: A Novel — Vladimir Nabokov
  15. Don’t Call It Night — Amos Oz
  16. Doctor Zhivago — Boris Pasternak *
  17. The Thanatos Syndrome — Walker Percy
  18. The Counterlife — Philip Roth
  19. The Gospel According to Jesus Christ: A Novel — José Saramago
  20. On the Natural History of Destruction — W. G. Sebald
  21. Maigret Bides His Time — Georges Simenon *
  22. When We Were Grownups — Anne Tylor
  23. An Afghanistan Picture Show; or, How I Saved the World — William T. Vollmann
  24. Infinite Jest — David Foster Wallace *
  25. La Curée — Émile Zola *

I also expect to finish these books-in-progress from last month’s list:

  • Chromos — Felipe Alfau
  • The View From the Seventh Layer — Kevin Brockmeier *
  • Uncentering the Earth — William T. Vollmann

What are your thoughts on this?

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