The Festival of Books and writerly parties are sure to do at least one thing to someone like me: inspire rabid book-buying. In the span of 72 hours, I've acquired the following books:
- The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (a recommendation from Jim Ruland)
- Ablutions: Notes for a Novel by Patrick deWitt (same)
- The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich (it's about time, frankly)
- The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
- Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
- Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
- Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
- A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
- After Dark by Haruki Murakami
- Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
- Senselessness by Horacio Catellanos Moya
- Jakob von Gunten by Robert Walser
Yeah. Bit of a binge, I'd say. Certain themes clearly emerge. Certain re-reads are on the table in light of 1Q84's release this fall.
The thing is, I got over-zealous when I cleared my bookshelves last month and gave over 400 books to libraries and friends and Goodwill. Turns out I gave away some books I really love so am now re-buying. Good for publishing, no? :)
I'm not currently reading any of these just-purchased books, but they remind me of a lovely and lively conversation last night about what our books say about us and what we lose in perceived or actual status in the eyes of friends and visitors to our brick and mortar or digital bookshelves. We recalled Edan's post at The Millions, The Great Book Purge of 2010, fondly and remarked that though people don't want to admit it, our books do define us...or at least can define a part of us. Or at the very least shine a light on how we want others to define us. Same with our Twitter feeds. Our blog posts. Our conversations at bookish parties. At some level, we are cultivating a narrative. Deciding how we want to be perceived or no. There's much more here, of course. And to acknowledge this perhaps draws a critical eye upon my own sharing of books purchased. Fair enough.
This brings me full circle to my still-in-my-brain-but-not-for-long post about the narrative arcs of our twitter streams. For another day, certainly. But soon.
Did the Festival of Books or any other literary happening (online or off) encourage a book buying binge for you this weekend? Say I'm not alone.