Monday, February 12, 2007

Side Effects of Bibliophilia

Acceptable reasons for moving away from home:

1) Extensive shelving no longer accomodates personal library

Otherwise, to move out of a place with fresh carpeting, a newly redone bathroom, heat, cable, internet, excellent catering, and a faithful canine companion would be folly. Jobs, spouses, education, ill health, witness protection – these alone are not good enough reasons to take up the arduous and inconceivably dusty task of packing, loading, transporting, unloading, unpacking, arranging, rearranging, and inevitably re-rearranging all of your earthly possessions.

I was not even halfway through this process when I began to think much better of the dowry chest concept. Then I began to admire Jack’s alter ego for blowing up his apartment. And I began to make mental notes on childrearing: do not under any circumstances encourage your child to frequent flea markets and buy forty-eight million gallons’-worth of pretty glass bottles of CALIFORNIA FIG SYRUP and PARISIAN SAGE HAIR TONIC and KILMER’S SWAMP ROOT KIDNEY LIVER AND BLADDER REMEDY. They look like pretty glass bottles, but here is what they really are: pretty glass shackles. Impossible to part with, but almost prohibitively risky to move. Such fragile objects are the enemy of the nomad, the pilgrim, the wayfarer. So is a personal library, come to that, but it can also be a stimulus to movement if the following conditions occur simultaneously:

1) You are a compulsive patron of the local used book store
2) You work at a publishing company and get damaged books for free
3) You like to own multiple translations in case one is unreliable
4) Your house is full of enablers
5) Your shelves are already full
6) You worked in the campus library for three years and know too much about damage inflicted by improper book storage
7) You are pretentous and refer to your books as your “personal library” and can’t bear to see them crammed into shelves, stifled, unable to “breathe”

So I moved.

But then I couldn’t afford the necessary forty feet of shelving.

Stacking books behind books on the paltry few shelves I could afford, I made a mental note to raise my children not only without bottle collections but also in an impenetrable nest of illiteracy so they would not know this pain.


Ivan said...

there is no other way to describe your family-- a bunch of enablers. all of them.

i need your new address. i just sent you a package to the old... sorry, guess that means you'll have to go back to pick it up-- and to eat a warm meal and ride your pony around on the fresh carpet floors.

Ivan said...

sorry "faithful canine companion" around the fresh carpet floors.

Simon said...

erm, i do not think you are sorry. i think you said "pony" deliberately! !! !!!

but i forgive you in the name of getting mail. yay!

Megan Elizabeth said...

at least you didn't move cross-country?


Katie P. said...

Good point. It is hard from the outside pictures to even tell that it is a Viking abode. We need proof that Svartr, Haukr, Óláfr, Tyrfingr, Úlfarr, and/or Einarr and friends actually live there. Like pictures of bookshelves or something.

Simon said...

Further pictures are coming. I had them ready for Wednesday, but I couldn't get to the internets. There was a blizzard. Then I was struck down by disease. Not all that different from a real Viking lifestyle, I suspect.