Monday, August 17, 2009
From time to time the DU enquires gently of me how many bookcases I have in this office.
The answer is always the same -- "about five."
"And how many of them are full?"
"Well, all of them and there are some stacked..."
"And tell me, Mom -- where are they going when you move out of the office? Cuz they're not going on the floor in cardboard boxes..."
My problem is -- that I learned to read. No, sorry. My problem is that when I want to read a book, I buy it. And then -- since hardly anyone writes just ONE book, it makes sense to see what else the author has produced, and acquire that, and then one might as well make a push for the entire oeuvre, pronounced "OOVER", and then the curatorial instinct kicks in, and the thought of the books, so painstakingly collected, being dispersed and vanishing away is sheer heartbreak.
Be that as it may, I don't have shelf space at home for the books I have at home, and I'm proposing to run 5 additional bookcases-ful, minus the bookcases, into that mess? One understands DU's concern.
I had got this far into the conundrum when I reflected that I know a considerable number of inspiringly bright young theological students... and in special particular the bright-eyed DU of former Marvellous Rector and Best Boss, now Marvellous Bishop. Said DU currently sweeping all before her in her studies and a candidate for ordination.
And the heartbreak just went away. She was here yesterday with her Mom and Dad, and went away to begin her final year of studies with a large box and two carry bags full of books.
And if it hurt at all -- the hurt was more than done away by the glee of saying, "And you'd better have THIS while you're at it..." and hearing her squeaks of "Are you serious? Really?"
I think that may well be all I have ever had in the way of gift or calling...to bring books to people and people to books.