Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Literature Glitch and a Book Conundrum

For all intents and purposes, I should have been reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles by now. I hunted through my book collection all week and found that I do not own any of the Keith Law top 100 books. I have read about 10 of them, though I only remember about 5. I hoped for some redemption reading Tess after failing to appreciate it in English 209 at the University of Kansas.

I learned a few things about my book collection.

1. I need to get rid of some of these books. This is a difficult exercise. The fact that I got rid of Tess indicates that at times I may get rid of things that I later want to use. Sometimes we have control over these decisions, other times we don't (Thanks, Mom, for getting rid of my Star Wars Cards). I must have discarded Tess because I never wanted to relived the memories of English 209--although I found some of the other books from that semester--Ironweed and Invisible Man.

2. Once I get attached to an author, I stick with them for a long time--Barbara Kingsolver, Bill Bryson, Douglas Coupland, Raymond Carver.

3. I have lots of books from the Alban Institute, MBTI, Natural Church Development, and Healthy Congregations. By the sheer size of this library, I would love to trim down this collection. But the skills from these books have put some food on the table.

I started a stack last night of books to give away, sell on, or garage sale this spring.

In this process, I did find a novel I have meant to read, but passed over for required reading or other interests. The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter was a National Book Award Finalist in 2000. I am also a Charles Baxter fan. I made a good start on this book last night and should get through it quickly--it doesn't pose too many complications. I'll either give an update or write a little review in the next few weeks.

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