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I always make the same decision

Been here a month now. It still feels like spending the summer in a strange little beach house.The subway stops usually smell of what C declares is 'Red Bull and piss.' But my stop here smells of hot-dogs and salt water. People move slow here-- they are taking in the sights they are having a day at the fair. At the end of the day I dump the sand from my shoes. So strange to think I am here to stay.

Today I unpacked the last box of books. Books I had forgotten I had. You know how that is-- I know you do. And every time I think 'Should I throw some out? Give some away?' And sometimes I do, but not many.

Mike is inclined the same way. He loves text books and reference books especially. (I draw the line at Thesaurus, he finds them in the street and brings them home,  and I throw them out. No need to say anything, he does not notice. Thus are happy marriages made. No word is really the equivalent of another word-- not in flavor or meaning. If you cannot remember the word you should not be using it.)

Will I ever color in "The coloring book of Microbiology?' And do I really need a copy of "What's new in the Air-corps?' Probably not. But I find a place for them. Who knows, maybe someday they will be just what I want. I remember the days of looking something up in a book to find out-- my kids will rarely do so. We all go online first now.

Today I did not get rid of any books. I did throw out some old Science magazines. The trashy paperbacks are nestled against the art books (Rowlandson, Copley, Sister Wendy) against the Tom Swifts that Mike cannot part with, against the cookbooks, (Fanny Farmer, Settlement House,) and I kept the book on the Air Corps.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2014 09:25 pm (UTC)
I do get rid of books sometimes, but not often. I had to sell a lot of books once, mostly archaeology texts, after I left university and had no money and I've always regretted it. I occasionally get rid of novels that I've disliked but otherwise, books stay.
Jun. 26th, 2014 10:19 pm (UTC)
Astonishing, with such limited space how many books went to sea. And they still do.

We used to send out care packages, to the ship. Just boxes of useful things, and fun things, enough so that each sailor got one at Christmas or whatever. Books were always included, along with candy and socks, and things like tampons, (which could always be traded for something else if they landed on a sailor who could not use them, tampons for condoms, for instance,) I cannot imagine why the ships store ran out of them, but it always did. But always books. They got handed around and around until they fell apart. Didn't seem to matter what they were about.

That little icon makes me so sad, because he is so clearly not reading. He is staring at the book, not seeing it-- What a piece of acting, layers on layers. JB being Archie, portraying Archie trying to act and failing. And soaking the whole thing-- fear.
Jun. 26th, 2014 10:29 pm (UTC)
I think it's easy for us to forget how precious books are. Did you read that news story earlier this year about the Ministry of Justice in England and Wales banning books from being sent to prisoners? Tragic. Having read so many of the PoW accounts now it always strikes me the extraordinary lengths some of these men went to to get a hold of books and to carry them with them when ever they tried to escape.

Archie is definitely not reading, he is using the book as a shield. It's an incredibly nuanced performance isn't it? The fear and the tension just seeps from the screen.
Jun. 26th, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)
Yes. A book can be a place to put your mind where it cannot be gotten at or hurt. Nothing else really works the same way, does it? Even on a happy ship, it gives a place to go. How much more comfort it must bring to those in prison...
Jun. 27th, 2014 12:28 am (UTC)
I have a relative who was never much of a reader until he (unfortunately) had to spend several years in prison. He became a reader there, as it was a means of "escape" from the surroundings and especially from the class of people he was forced to be with.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )