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. Some 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.
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.
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.