Posted on May 11, 2005 at 10:27 am

BooksErika tagged me for the book meme.

How many books in my house?
I have no idea.  I live with my husband’s collection of mid-20th century radio manuals, my paternal grandmother’s collection of books on turn-of-last century occult works and theater biographies, her mother’s very decorative complete editions of Dickens and Trollope (of course) Thackeray, Moliere and six editions of Shakespeare in various states of decay, and my own collection from grad school and years of working as a bookseller in Harvard Square.  So, needless to say, there are a lot.

Boys_books Even the kids each have an impressive accumulation. That’s something I’m proud of, because I can say of their collections that I can’t say of mine, that they’ve read every one of them.  There are four rooms in my house with whole walls of bookcases, and all of them are full.  There is not a room without a bookcase; even the kitchen has a big one with cookbooks and the garden library.  There’s so much paper in this house that in a fire, the place would go up like a match.  I can’t ever find the book I’m trying to lend out, no matter how certain I am of where it is.  That’s when it’s embarassing.

The last book I bought?
The Late George Apley by John Marquand

LibraryThe last books I read?
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
Let’s Not Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
The Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

I read several books at once, and at the moment, my primary criteria is that their coherence survive my current method of reading in fits and starts.  My usual tastes run more to the epic, but with a small child and the knitting taking over my life, I am ruthlessly short of attention span. Someday, I’ll get to Middlemarch.

PaperbacksFive books that I reread often or that mean a lot to me?

I won’t live long enough to read all the books I want to, so I hardly ever go back and read again for myself, but as a teacher, I had the luxury of revisiting a number of books over and over again, and they included Warrior Woman by Maxine Hong Kingston, The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett, and American Pastoral by Philip Roth.

Who am I going to pass this along to?
Kate: because I trust her to ignore this if she wants.