I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges
Like most people I read for a variety of reasons. I read for information because I am curious about everything, from astronomy to zoology, though I admit I often don’t fully understand everything I read, especially in the sciences. I do not read political, economic, or so called ‘self-help’ books. At times I get mired down in books on religion and philosophy but eventually manage to move on for a time to other subjects.
I read for pleasure, though much of what I place in that category may not resonate with others. I enjoy books by or about writers and artists, even scholarly tomes filled with details and the minutiae of their lives and work. I just received 32 back issues of Paeiduma, a journal devoted to the study of Ezra Pound and his circle and I have been happily reading my way through them whenever I have a free moment.
My bedside table is stacked with books I am in the process of reading, and I skip back and forth as my mood dictates. Here’s what I’m enjoying now:
Zen in English Literature – R. H. Blyth (I first read this around 1975 as a 33 year old drop-out, and I can say I find it as interesting now as it was then.)
Notes From an Italian Garden – Joan Marble (after reading ‘A Year in Provence’ by Peter Mayle, and all of Frances Mayes’ books I have been loosing myself in the countryside of various Mediterranean countries whenever I can.)
Mogollon Diary No. 2 – Bill Rakocy
Paideuma Volume 11, #1
Frida by Frida - Raquel Tibol (more on this later)
The Cockroaches of Stay More, and Butterfly Weed – Donald Harington (I didn’t become aware of this author until a few days after his death on November 7th of last year. Now I fear the day when I close his last book.)
Tooth and Claw – T. C. Boyle (Almost always a pleasure to read.)
Apache – Will Comfort
Wah-To-Yah and the Taos Trail – Lewis Garrard
The Legend of Semimaru - Blind Musician of Japan - Susan Matisoff
Numerous magazines including: Wine Spectator, Audubon, Garden Design, Architectural Digest, The English Garden, Smithsonian, Nature Conservancy, Art In America, and Artnews.
Upstairs I keep a shelf for new arrivals - books I keep at arms length for the present, averting my gaze whenever I pass by. It looks like I need to add another shelf.