Thursday, January 27, 2011

Still Life With Books

Oright. And now for a real post. I am back in KL now, slowly doing the rounds. And I mean s-l-o-w-l-y. Sometimes people from the outside bug me, expecting me to match their speed, but I shrug them off like butterflies.

Slow is the new fast.

N'um saying?

I've written all of one article, gone for all of one meeting.

Tomorrow, I finally cash in the "relaxing massage" voucher Prudential gave me for my birthday. Today, I called for directions.

Oh life.

I've started to read furiously again (and not Harry Potter) and have so far finished Tempest Tost and Leaven of Malice (both by Robertson Davies, a Canadian writer my cousin Eve was intent on introducing me to, and whom, btw, I absolutely love), am now quarterways through John Fowles's The Magus, which is pretty intense (and then I have a stack of books that my Unkley gave me for my birthday on the side table, as yet unread (including a memoir by RK Narayan). I've also discovered Pico Iyer and the thing to do when you discover an author is to buy not one but two of her/his books. So I did. The Global Soul and The Open Road.

Can't wait!

I've also heaped a pile of books in a box to give away to charity. I thinned out my closet (one large garbage bag), thinned out my shoes (another large garbage bag) and finally, went through my drawers and removed all the odds and ends that have been in there for years but which have served (and will serve) no foreseeable purpose (the biggest garbage bag so far). All three were dumped in the charity recycling bin near my house. The books are in a box. I promised Addy she could come browse through them before I called Salvation Army or whatnot to come do the honours. I want to go through all the bookshelves and pick out all my books that are past their sell by date. I included the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Blue Book which I bought from Payless Books one year when I convinced myself I was two steps away from being an alcoholic.

Huh! All drama. I can't sustain the whole alcoholic thing for very long. Anyways, it has peeped out from the shelves long enough. So in it went.

As I've still got a lot of books stored in boxes (lack of space) I went out to Ikea yesterday and bought a (drum roll please!) bookshelf. Yes, I'm aware of the irony, giving away books and buying a bookshelf at the same time. But I need to clear some space on my desk and get the books out of the boxes. I'm surrounded by books (with at least 10 new and not read yet) yet you can't unleash me in a bookshop or I turn into the Book Monster....ahhh, books, more books, more books, more books!

I empathise with Tony Curtis (the Irish poet, not the American actor):

How did I end up like this?

A watcher of skies
and fields that run to clouds;
a keeper of stillness
a moonface at the window,
a love gone to darkness,
a still life with books.

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