Sunday, June 27, 2004

Books and Dollars

Perhaps for we new intellectuals, bookshelves are our bank accounts: We horde books we are unlikely to ever read, we proudly display our stocked shelves, because we are in love with the promise of knowledge there.
Imagining, of course, that we’ll get around to—at least most—of them. Eventually. When things (life) calm down. Quiet down, give us the chance. Just after we get through the pile of New Yorkers, right?
The point I’m making is the stockpiling urge, books are our jewels in safety deposit boxes. We generally feel fine about it, of course. Books contain wisdom! Books are cool! So anti-tech, old-fashioned in the best sort of way. Culture! Art! Line ‘em up!
Visiting an apartment the other day, the woman said with that self-indulgent, feigned-embarrassed glance, ‘we have too many books’, but of course she was bragging really, patting herself on the back for her culture. Whole Harvard Classics Library there, an entire bookshelf-full. In their luxury apartment with the crystal chandelier…
Bohemian rhapsody!


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