What did I feel like reading? I narrowed it down as I rejected various options.
- a slender volume
- something fairly light
- not Austen fanfic
- not by Margaret Atwood
- not about people having affairs
- not part of a series
- not about politics
This via mostly-negativa did not net me a book from the new books section, but it did help me clarify that what I probably wanted to read was Barbara Pym. But my time was up, and I had to leave emptyhanded. It's not like I don't have books at home to read, heaven knows.
Speaking of books to read, we made a pilgrimage down to IKEA to replace the shelves that have stood so faithfully since we've been married. "Stood" is not accurate anymore; they lean in a distinctly non-reassuring fashion now, supported by each other or what furniture is wedged next to them. IKEA is not the ne plus ultra of furniture, sure, and the style isn't exactly in sync with our house, but when you need sturdy bookcases yesterday, it's useful.
Now our living room is full of cardboard flatpacks waiting to test our screwdrivers and our patience. I've made noise about how we need to weed down our books -- it pains me to let any go, but we have books that are missing covers, missing pages, falling apart, etc. Those are the easy choices, I guess, but harder to discern are things like the large number of Landmark and Vision biographies, dating to mid-century. I remember devouring those as a child, but it is pulling teeth to get our children to read a biography. Why? Is it the vintage style of these particular books? Why do they detest biography so much? Is it worth the occupied shelf space?
In other book news, my eight-year-old son has decided to read his first big book, and of course it's Harry Potter. As I make him read aloud at intervals (one of the few qualifications for a reading teacher is the ability to repeat, "Read every letter", or "Look at the word," as many times as necessary without losing patience), I'm struck anew by how poorly written it is. Rowling is a storyteller, but she's no stylist.
At least he's reading.