“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Well, today’s question isn’t so much what’s on my bookshelf, but what’s in the green shopping bag beside my reading chair and what’s in the car boot, which I haven’t quite owned up to yet?
My last confession came after I brought 38 books at the Pearl Beach Books Sale.
This confession comes after raiding the local PCYC Book Sale, which included leftovers from the Pearl Beach Book Sale. For a book addict like myself, I was in seventh heaven fossicking through a hall full of books.
I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you how tempting it was, especially as the books were only $2.50 each and my stash came under the “bulk deals” category. I paid $30.00 for my two bags full including ($5.00 worth of home made slice and rather tempting chocolate cupcakes. Yum!!)
I haven’t done a head count yet, and am still in denial. (I’ve been doing such a good job of clearing out at home and like a true addict, I’ve gone and undone it all again. However, I am still sticking to what I said after raiding the last book sale. I’m going to read them and pass them on.)
Here are just some of the titles I’ve bought home:
Frank Reid: The Romance of the Great Barrier Reef (1954), David Lodge: Thinks, Margaret Atwood: The Edible Woman; Antoine de Saint-Exupery: Le Petit Prince (in French), DH Lawrence’s: Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Harold Lewis: Crow On A Barbed Wire Fence; Simon Tolkein: The Inheritance; Elizabeth Jolly: Cabin Fever; and My Father’s Moon; Rosie Batty: A Mother’s Story; Wendy McCarthy: Don’t Fence Me In; Michael Caulfield: The Vietnam Years; New York New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The City in Art and Literature; Mark Marix Evans: Over The Top: Great Battles of The First World War; Alice Pung: Unpolished Gem.
As you might appreciate, there’s quite an eclectic selection there which is one of the beauties of second-hand book sales. They’re so stimulating taking your thoughts all sorts of directions across the globe and through time. I also appreciate picking up quite a few Australian works. As much as I love to discover the world, I also love seeing my world reflected back at me in print.
Meanwhile, I’m reading Kerri Maher’s: The Paris Bookseller. It’s essentially based on the life story of Sylvia Beach who founded the original Shakespeare and Company Bookshop in Paris. However, it also follows James Joyce very closing, especially the banning of Ulysses. It’s a wonderful read, especially for anyone who has been to Paris and visited Shakespeare and Company. I went there when I was in Paris in July 1992, and had heard they held poetry readings there. I mustn’t have known too much about the legendary status of the place because I went and approached the legendary George Whitman whether I could do a reading and blow me down after reading my self-published anthology, he agreed. I didn’t know that at age 23 I was reaching the pinnacle of my performance poetry career. I went corporate when I came home, because while it was okay to take one year off and wander through the nooks and crannies of Europe, it wasn’t meant to become a way of life. As it turned out, my health went pear-shaped and we’ve also decided/needed to focus on our kids, but this has also given me the space and freedom to write which I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Humph! I am getting a better understanding why I’m such a slow reader. I keep writing instead.
So, what have you been reading lately and what’s on your bookshelf? I’d love to hear from you!
This has been a contribution to What’s On Your Bookshelf?