Everyone’s talking about shopping in one’s own closet during these times; today I went browsing in my own bookshelves. Granted, I’ll never stop buying books. I bought books when I was barely making minimum wage and all I have to show for it is . . . well, actually, some valuable modern firsts. Last week alone, I purchased two books and scored a free one on a visit to my publisher.
Today, I was trying to winnow my collection again — I periodically select books to be boxed up and stored in the basement, and even send some away permanently. It’s difficult to say the least. The only candidates, after all, are books I have read and can never imagine re-reading. Ann Beattie’s ANOTHER YOU, for example. The two Nicholson Baker books I don’t care for, VOX and THE FERMATA. And that’s about as far as I got.
But then, I found two books I didn’t realize I own, two books I’m dying to read. I glanced at the opening lines and I have an opinion, but am curious to know what others think:
“It was terribly hot that summer Mr. Robertson left town, and for a long while the river seemed dead.”
“They took Arlene’s car because it had air-conditioning and Emily wasn’t sure the Olds would make it. That and Arlene’s was bigger, a wagon, better for bringing things back.”
Trust me, I can’t go wrong with either author and my choice may be influenced by something other than these first lines. But which would take you away first?
Back to cleaning.