Wednesday, January 07, 2004

They're Here

Woo-hoo! They've finally come! The books I ordered from Barnes and with the $25 gift certificate from my dearest sis arrived on my doorstep today. I managed to feed the cat, dog and myself, take the dog outside and give the cat his insulin injection before I opened the box. My dear doggie always thinks that every package arriving at the house is for him. So when I sat down on the floor with the box and scissors, it was hard to know who was more excited to open the box, the dog or me. As soon as I had the box flaps open, the dog's head disappeared inside. When he pulled it back out a moment later he looked at me as if to say, "Well, what's the hold up, take those things out!" He couldn't care less about the books, he wanted the stuffing. He loves bubblewrap but this box had those blown up plastic balloon things. Three of them. The dog gleefully ripped each one to shreds as I pulled them out of the box. When he realized there weren't anymore to be had from the box, he revisited the already torn ones and tore them up some more. That's fine. It kept him occupied while I fondled my new books. They are all books of heft; each at least two inches thick. The Emerson looks great and the cover has a pretty picture of an old tree on it. Tristram Shandy also looks good. It's the Everyman Library edition and from a brief flip through and what I know of the book, it appears that they have kept Sterne's unusual formatting. Vanity Fair I'm a little disappointed with. The description when I ordered it said it had all of Thackeray's line drawings in it. I flipped through it and saw not a one. Well, actually there is one, a copy of the original cover drawing. A corner of the front cover also has a bit of a crease in it. I am very particular about the condition of the books I buy. I will search through a stack of books and compare covers to find the most perfect one. I guess it's a game of chance when one buys books on the internet. But overall I am very pleased with my new books. I have added them to the pile next to the bed. The pile is teetering with all the books I've gotten since Solstice. They are piled next to the books from last year that I meant to get to but didn't. The pile is beginning to be dangerous and I will soon either have to learn how to lightly and gracefully leap over James to get in and out of bed, or make a decision about what to keep in a radically reduced pile and what to take to the library downstairs. I am putting this off as long as I can because once a book goes on the shelf I forget I have it. Last year I tried to help my memory by making a list of books I wanted to read but couldn't keep in the pile. Somewhere around Valentine's Day I misplaced the list. It resurfaced in August but by that time it was too late. So this year I am not going to bother with a list even though I love lists with an unexplainable passion. That means I had better start leaping practice. At least I'll have lots to read if I break my leg.