13 November 2010

Plan B.

OK, so here's what I originally had planned for today: since the novel I'm reading (Richard Powers' first, Prisoner's Dilemma) isn't exactly knocking my socks off (it's not bad or anything--just that the tale of a studiedly eccentric Salinger-Glass-Royal-Tenebaums-type family led by an ever-sickening patriarch, who obsessively chronicles an alternate-history version of WWII wherein Walt Disney liberates 10,000 interned Japanese-Americans to create a soaring homefront propaganda film that will save the world [whew] isn't up to the intricacies and jaw-dropping juxtapositions of his later work: The Gold-Bug Variations or The Echo Maker)

Let's start a new sentence, shall we? That one rather got away from me. (Sometimes I'm envious of gendered/cased languages--one can keep so many dependent clauses straight without resorting to punctuation.) Anyhoo: I thought instead of chatting about book content, I'd write about bookshelf content--with pictures! Except somehow my camera cord has gone missing. Totally bizarre, since my apartment--while ample-space livable, with multiple rooms and everything!--is not NYC-sitcom-huge, and there are only so many places it could be. Stymied!

This is what I took pictures of, though:
  • The to-read stack--down to 6, which is crazy. I'll have to go the library or something.
  • On my desk, my teensy reference-book (dictionary, thesaurus, two copies of The Elements of Style, one a first edition, one with the Maira Kalman illustrations--everyone in my immediate family got one for Christmas the year it came out) and NYC-guide section.
  • On top of my dresser, flanked a bit precariously by my jewelry box and a magazine file containing the first 34 issues of the Buffy Season 8 comic books, kids' books, ranging from picture books (including my signed Bats at the Ballgame!) to my childhood favorites (including my signed A Wrinkle in Time, inscribed, just like Miranda's in When You Reach Me, "Tesser well"), then graphic novels and various miscellaneous tall books.
  • My main--and only proper, if you're looking for a Christmas gift idea--bookcase, mostly alphabetized fiction and then non-fiction, but also...
  • Idiosyncratic sub-sections. There's some Japanese lit in translation, some Catholic books (works by Hildegard of Bingen and Catherine of Siena, of course), poetry (with copies of all the journals my work's ever appeared in, which makes it sounds like there's a lot, right? But no, maybe a half-dozen), and finally my Great War books: poetry, prose, memoir, analysis, even a collection of soldiers' letters in French.

So how do you organize your books? Rhyme? Reason? Color?

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