Monday, August 30, 2010

How many books is too many books

Workwise it has been one of the busiest months I have experienced for nearly a decade. With more time inside now that tobacco is out of my life for good (seriously this time), I have returned to the crossword, and increased the book uptake. The crossword is a wander through the park really, it isn't a huge challenge by any means, I'm not talking cryptic crossword (though I would love to learn how to do these, being an avid fan of Inspector Morse - Colin Dextor's Oxford criminologist), so I've approached some poetry for a change, (amoungst the many other books on the go).

I'm going to show my ignorance here, in that poetry to me, has been a bit elusive. Poetry is a bit like the rubik cube, some people seem to simply 'get it', then there is people like myself that grasp rhyme, then get lost when we hit the lengthy stuff.

I was reading Susan Flynn's blog "You can never have too many books" and she has journeyed down the poetry path as well, though her profile suggests that the path is a familiar one for her, more a reaquantance than a new experience. She too cited Dr Seuss as lighting her love for rhythm & rhyme, and as soon as I read her blog for 26/8/10 it took me back to when I initially stumbled, then became more confident with reading, and loved Seuss's stories. Sometime after my teens poetry and I parted, briefly returning in my late 20's sporadically, owing mainly to my love of Horace Rumpole of the Bailey, John Mortimer's invention of a crusty defence lawyer. Horace was for ever breaking out in poetry recitation, mainly Wordsworth, but I loved it - and envied him having poetry at his disposal like a comforting blanket.

And so it was that I made off to the 2010 Red Cross Book Sale, and contributed a fair share of our income to the cause. I came away with at least another dozen books, several of which are of poetry, to help with the renewed vigour in trying to make sense of it. I have always like Rudyard Kipling, so he came home with me, and Faber Popular Reciter collated by Kingsley Amis, which has some real old fashioned gems, that even a newbie like me recognised. All for practically nothing.

There are now stacks of new (well pre-loved) books waiting for me to run a cursory eye over before they are put on the shelf. I would hazard a guess that the book count is now exceedingly high. But I'm not good at culling my books, they are my friends, I go to them whenever I'm feeling low, high, or in-between, they are like friends that offer me comfort, and nurture me through rough times. The man of the house doesnt bond to this degree with his books, and tends to have an annual spring clean, donating the unwanted books to Red Cross, or Lion, Rotary whichever is calling for donations. I can't bring myself to give any of my books away. However, on Saturday I did buy a Colin Dexter which I thought at the time looked very familiar, and found when I got home I now own two of the same book - a dilemma not faced before. So I am pleased to say I have a book to donate next year - an extra Dexter (maybe I am a budding poet after all).

Things I am grateful for this month:

My supportive work colleagues.

The man of the house for cooking when Ive been too tired.

The same man of the house for doing the housework while I worked on Saturdays.

Having employment, when so many don't.

Books that transport my mind to places I have neither the time nor the funds to take me there.

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