April 18, 2011


We are getting rid of many books, in part because some of the book shelves are going buh-bye, because it's uncool that our infant can roll UNDER them. Also, there are too many books, read and unread, haunting the house. I look at them and promise time I do not have, and then a little part of me flashes through my life from about age 27 onward, and through the part where I got wireless internet and I just see all manner of wasted time, time when I could of read a book that has sat here, unread for nigh seven years. Today I packed up more books to be sold, mercilessly evaluating. No, I doubt I will ever have the kind of time to read a 612 page book about the history of the music business side of hip hop. Goodbye copy of The Second Sex that I have sold and rebought at least twice without ever cracking it. Peace out all those Nick Tosches books I bought in a fit of excitement in like 2000 and never read. Communist Manifesto, academic examination of Antonioni films, ancient cheap paperback of Brave New World--all going.

A sense of relief is already starting, though initially it was all sort of foot-dragging what if. But then I got real talk tuesday about it and was like, having to admit if I really want to revisit the Anita Hill autobiography, it is readily available. Am I bad person that I don't want to read the book about the lives of Pioneer Women of the westward expansion? I have only opened it once but it was fucking depressing. Children dying of pox and your drunk husband's cart-driving getting a wagon wheel broken and living off dried meats. UGH. I would rather read the comments section on a NY Times story about sexism. Which is to say not at all.

I am keeping many of my books about movies but only keeping two about country music. I imagine it's because I have more fantasy-brain tied up in movies and if I had any country music related fantasies in my head, well, the 60 pages of the Tammy Wynette biography that I have read so far have disabused me of them entirely, and I am still mostly at the part where she has like 4 kids and is only 23 and has a no good husband who keeps her living in a dirtfloor shack and she sets out to improve her station in live as a beautician. SHE IS NOT EVEN A COUNTRY STAR YET AND IT"S HARROWING. I shudder at the old times. My grandma raised my oldest aunt in a garage-like house with a dirt floor while her new husband was off in the Army, and she was Catholic and got pregnant the first time she ever had sex. What did women do before strollers, if you had more children than you could sling to you? Maybe you did not care, since only recent times were children's gentle souls respected. Imagine being seven and going to work all day. The olden days were bullshit. Depressing books begone! Only dishy biographies and expensive art books might remain at the rate and severity of this purging, but if that's how it must be, it will be.

Posted by jessica hopper at April 18, 2011 12:28 AM | TrackBack