Books, Excess, and Being Onely August 22, 2008Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities.
Tags: Books, death, i love being single, identity, library fees, life of the mind, overdue books, passion, reading, thinking
So I just stumbled across an article which describes a 20-year-old who was arrested for having unpaid library fines! (poor girl, she doesn’t deserve to be punishedfor borrowing books!!!) What does this have to do with Being Onely, you might ask? Well, not much really. Except I have a problem. It’s called I-must-have-books. I mean, I must have them, and after a summer dedicated mostly to reading and thinking (only one month of teaching!), I currently have a ton of library books here in my apartment. They are piled in small, haphazard groups on my coffee table, hidden under loose papers all over my desk, stacked neatly on shelves in my living room — and of course let’s not forget the books I own, which take up lots of shelf space in the hallway outside of my apartment (seriously, the shelves are so big that there was no space for them — or the books I own — inside of this one-bedroom apartment!).
And the worst thing about it is that, as the semester is about to begin next week (and it will be a very busy semester indeed, with teaching, taking classes, and administering a reading series and writing contest), I must retire most of these books because they have nothing to do with what I am going to be working on in the immediate future. The good thing is that, because they have been checked out from a university library (instead of a local community library), none of them are due until late November, and I can renew those for another 4-6 months once the due date approaches. So my plan is to hang on to them (yes, one might even say “hoard” them) in spite of the fact that I won’t have time to touch them in a few short days.
I’m not about to hang on to them for so long or so stubbornly that anyone will come to arrest me, I promise (I actually just received a notice today that one of the many books has been “recalled” and I am being forced to return it by the end of the month… *sigh*). But I was thinking, just as Christina discussed in a previous post, that if/when I die “alone,” I hope that whoever has the good fortune to find my body will take note of whatever books, journals, papers, and other reading material they find nearby. Because it’s ideas that I’m truly passionate about — as Christina is passionate about her cats and would be happy if they survived thanks to her dead body — and I hope it’s that “fact” of my true self that is noted when I die, not whether or not I died “alone.”