Sunday, July 3, 2011

Avalanched II

I couldn't pick her out of a lineup.
This is Flannery O'Connor.
So I'm looking around now at the shelves for books that are in the I-intend-to-read-and-that's-why-I-have-them category. I'm sorry to say, there are sooooo many of them. First off, I should tell you, that if you really like fiction, you probably would not be all that impressed with my library. My tastes in reading have always been much more tilted to non-fiction than fiction. Which, I suppose, is natural for a historian. There's a pitiful little section of a top shelf that has half a dozen (count 'em!) forlorn little books of fiction floating in this huge ocean of non-fiction books. There are three James Michener up there, one Tom Wolfe (I've read everything by this guy.)--I Am Charlotte Simmons--a collected works of Flannery O'Connor, one William Faulkner. Need I tell you that those books are up there because I have not read them?

I hasten to tell you that I do read fiction--my God, I'm not a Philistine!-- it's just (obviously) not my first choice. I'm thinking now about whole boxes of fiction that I got rid of on the moves. I wish I had the sf books back, although I had read all of them.

But it's really depressing to look around at the shelves and seeing all these books that I've got sitting here that I was hot to read at some point (or they wouldn't be here), but that have now melted into the scenery, no longer with that read-me-read-me look they have when they first go up on the shelf. Lots and lots of really good stuff. Just at random, a very tiny sample of this category, and let's not even mention history books, by far the largest category of books in here.

Have I mentioned the categories? I think so: poetry, reference, chess, baseball, religion, biography, and history, and miscellany. A lot of the fun books are in this latter category. In American history I've gotten rid of almost everything but stuff in my specialty--19th century South, slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction. I've got basically nothing in early American history anymore and a smattering of books in 20th century. There are unread volumes in all these history categories. Some of the ones I really want to get to are Civil War battle books, mainly because I'm writing more and more about generals and the military aspects of the war. I've got history books on other stuff too, the stuff that interests me: World War I, Nazi Germany, WWII, Middle Ages, Reformation. (I've gotten rid of tons of this kind of stuff too.)

Guess what? I'm going to let this topic spill over into another post yet again. Which is not good because it keeps you in suspense (ha, ha) but is real good for me because it's a ready-made topic, and I won't have to struggle to come up with one. I have to tell you that coming up with something to write about that I figure you all won't consider utter tripe is the biggest challenge I have to deal with with this blog. So if you think some of the crap I write about is boring, you should see what I reject.
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