Book Report

Now that my days are no longer consumed by “The Company”, I thought that I’d be able to return to my old of obsessively reading books from cover to cover as quickly as possible. I have some weighty presidential biographies that I’ve been waiting to dig into and I’ve got A Confederation of Dunces on my radar, which I think I should read because it’s “considered a canonical work of modern literature of the Southern United States.” Now that I’m Southern – what with the successful biscuit making and the blooming of the birds of paradise and all – I believe it is my duty to become familiar with that one.

As you know, I prefer a hardcover book in my hand to any other reading format. As much as I like talk radio and podcasts, I cannot abide books on tape or on an electronic reader. I buy hardcover books whenever they are available in the titles I want at a great discount from Abebooks.com. Discount meaning less than $5 total including shipping, sometimes $3. This is possible because I don’t traffic in recent works or the middling taste of the petite bourgeoisie. checkedSome of these are library books that come with the warning that they may have written notes or highlighter on the pages, but I’ve never seen that. In fact, most of the library books that I’ve purchased this way are in pristine condition, some with the library cards showing only one or two checkouts. Sad.

Here’s my current stack of to be reads. The top two are in progress; the rest haven’t been touched.

stack

I’m telling you all this now because I recently sought out the nearest branch of the county library. I usually find Google maps very helpful when I go someplace for the first time, not only for driving directions but to check out what the place looks like and some surrounding landmarks in case I overshoot. I swear to God this is the Google street view for the library , and it is accurate.

l

After a little back and forthing on a Florida backroad and peering through every clearing in the scrubby forest primeval , I did finally come face to face with the Jacksonville branch of  Florida State college which consists of two buildings. This branch of the county library is housed inside a poorly marked college building and takes up all of 500 sq ft.

Five. Hundred. Square. Feet.

But lo and behold, in the local newspaper not two days later was an article about how the library’s lease with the college is up in June and rather than pay increased fees for an insufficient space and so the library commission has identified an available 6,000 Sq ft space for potential relocation about a mile and a half from where I live!

Now back to my books. I don’t save them  but pass them on to others but my taste is sometimes so esoteric that not many share my ideas of what is a good read. Once the library is settled in the new space, I’m sure they’ll be open for donations to help fill the shelves. Here’s my scheme: my next purchases are from a single author and when I’m done with them, I look forward to the happy day that I can walk into the Yulee branch of the Nassau County library and donate the complete works of Kitty Kelley. Pretty sure this will be the only branch in the county that will be able to make that claim.

Author’s note: You must have a lot of time on your hands because you just read 600 boring words so that I could occupy myself with a mildly amusing daydream. I’m telling you, retirement is great.

5 thoughts on “Book Report”

  1. Even if I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands, I’d MAKE time for your ramblings. I’m loving your retirement, too. Mine so far consists of unpacking a lot of stuff and wondering 1)where it all came from and 2) why do I even have it? Only when those questions are answered do I decide where to put it.

  2. I read most of Confederacy for a reading group. Finally gave up and threw it in the trash. I am southern born and bred; this was not my south. I’m enjoying your
    FL life as I lived in Yulee back in the dark ages of the last century. It was a one street town then. We also went to Fernandina Beach on the weekend if Daddy didn’t. have to work. Loved it.

    1. Confederacy of Dunces is *not* the typically southern idyll. It is an extremely accurate portrayal of the dysfunctional southern insanity found in G’Narlins (similar work was done by Tennessee Williams in his books/plays and heavily diluted in the resulting movies). The backstory of the ill-fated author demonstrates that he knew that of which he wrote. It’s a trainwreck, not unlike “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe” but infinitely more humorous – especially if you have experience enough with the culture to recognize folks you’ve met or worked with by their traits as represented by O’Toole’s characters.

      1. Correction “Gnarlins”. It’s my pet name for the city I otherwise call “That Sh_thole fulla nuts.”

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