Culling

I’ll always believe you can never have too many books, but I have more books than I want. 

There are the tedious music books (many on opera), a multitude of misguided cocktail manuals and second-rate cookbooks, and a motley assortment of translated lit I’ll never read again. How about the poetry treading water while humming off-key refrains and fanciful classics scratching neither an intellectual nor aesthetic itch? Then there are those volumes insatiably snapped up in a haze of book-sale arousal—do I need to take on more debt to fill the Oxford University Press coffers every time they slash their prices in half? Seriously, I’ll be just fine without making more room on my shelves for the latest 400-page deep-dive into the Brontë family’s breakfast habits or that searing overview of assonance in Antartic verse.

I’m not trying to conjure up any magic by tidying up, I’m just trying to get rid of some books and hold onto the ones I really really want—which is not most!

Gather at the Ramparts

Of all the things we fashioned for them that they might be comforted, dawn is the one that works. When darkness sifts from the air like fine soft soot and light spreads slowly out of the east then all but the most wretched of humankind rally. It is a spectacle we immortals enjoy, this minor daily resurrection, often we will gather at the ramparts of the clouds and gaze down upon them, our little ones, as they bestir themselves to welcome the new day. What silence falls upon us then, the sad silence of our envy.

— John Banville, The Infinities