Marginalia, no.20

His library annoyed him with its look
Of calm belief in being really there

~ W.H. Auden, The Quest

The trouble with personal libraries is that sooner or later they tend not only to be there but practically everywhere.  The litter of books throughout the house has recently become a “problem” at home, a point of some unpleasantness between me and my wife.  (Really, it’s not just me.  The kids are as bad, with their library finds stacked in a corner and their bookshelf always a shambles.)  But my lust for new acquisitions never ends.  If I’m ever annoyed at my library’s pretensions, it’s precisely because I know it’s not really there yet – not in any proper sense.  There are always a few choice volumes missing, some necessary portion of it as yet undiscovered…


Filed under Marginalia

2 responses to “Marginalia, no.20

  1. You even have a cat wandering among the stacks to complete the stereotype! I jest, and have to commend the quality of your books; they are plentiful but wisely collected. If there is anyone I know who needs his own reading room. it is thee. You would need to open it to the public, naturally, and host Saturday night themes, like “Kerouac and the Zen of Typing”.

  2. Ian Woolcott

    A reading room would be nice, but I think I’ll pass on the Kerouac. That’s just, you know, so 1996.

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