Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mail-order library

As you probably all know by now, my grandfather recently sent me his library. Would you like to have a closer look at one or two of the books this week?

I have tried to take pictures of a few of the shelved books, so as to allow you to read their titles and see their colour and size. I thought each of you might like to choose one, and then I can go to the shelf and open it for you; this way I can share my library, and in the process also learn more about what I actually have here in my house.

There are so many books, and they are so special, that I often find myself overwhelmed. I have read only a handful of the books so far, and many I have yet to even open! I am only beginning to catalogue and organise, so please excuse the fact that some books share a shelf for no apparent reason. I like to think that makes it more interesting and surprising.

Dubliners, Ulysses, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Pudd'nhead Wilson, A Tramp Abroad, Poems of the Caribbean, Roughing It, The Innocents Abroad.

White Fang, Little Women, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights.

Simplicissimus, The Invisible Man, The Sermon On The Mount, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Nibelungenlied, Gone With The Wind, Peter Pan.

P.S. I spoke to my grandpa last week and asked him if he didn't have even a small moment of regret that he no longer had the books in his home. He laughed and said "Oh El, you know I have them with me wherever I go, they're all in here," and I could hear him tapping on his big, round, bald head.

P.P.S. My Grandpa is currently in Manhattan and spends much of his time people-watching, riding on buses and going to the cinema. He saw the latest Batman movie and hated it, he refused to tell me why, but he did tell me that he stood at the exit to the cinema and asked each person as they left if they would like to join him in asking the management for a refund. I know this to be true because my brother was with him at the time. He also described how he found himself on a completely empty bus one evening, so he sat beside the driver ("a lovely young woman") and they sang show-tunes together.


blackbird said...

No paper jackets on those books? Nicely done Grandpa.

RW said...

I would like to see
The Nibelungenlid

What an absolute treasure you have received! Knowing that the books have been treasured before you - and are well loved.

I quite like your Grandpa.

eurolush said...

I love hearing about your well-traveled (and well-read) grandfather. His library is a treasure chest and an amazing gift for you. Being able to peek in to your world see it is fun.

As I just finished reading, "The Brontes: A Life in Letters," I vote for Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights--both favorites of mine.

Last night, while lying in bed, I got to the end of the book of letters and read the last of Charlotte's correspondences to her close friends. Though I knew it was coming, when I read she had died three weeks before her 39th birthday, I couldn't help shedding a tear. After reading so many of her personal letters, I'd really grown to like her a lot.

I'm currently reading, "The Professor," Charlotte Bronte's first novel, which was rejected by publishers no less than nine times. Nine times! Next will be "Shirley" and then "Villette." It's kind of a phase right now...

Thanks again for sharing your library, dearest E...I hope this will be a regular feature...weekly even.

Tuli said...

I recently picked up an old library copy of Winnie the Pooh because I've never read it. As a little girl, Christopher Robin and Pooh somehow missed my bookshelf and I think my imagination is the poorer all for it. Anyway, my copy has gorgeous illustrations. I'm hoping your version of Peter Pan has similar gorgeous illustrations.

So I vote for Pan.

bluemountainsmary said...

My vote is for "Little Women" - always a favourite of mine.

Your grandfather singing show tunes with the bus driver has entered my heart.

Anonymous said...

I adore your Grandpa.

Suse said...

A streetcar named desire, please.

Is this going to be a regular weekly feature then? How fabulous.

I love your grandpa.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your grandpa!
I can just picture him in the back of the movie theater, organizing an uprising.

I'd like to see all of these:
White Fang, Little Women, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights.

What an amazing collection. I agree with our sister Eurolush - you should showcase a handful of books each week and show us up close how fabulous they are.


Badger said...

Dude, we have GOT to get our grandpas together for that playdate one of these days.

Julia said...

I'm a Bronte fan too, but I also love Jane Austen. I'd vote for Northanger Abbey - it is her funniest book and one I'm very fond of when I'm feeling all gloomy and gothic (looming European winters bring this on). An illustration would be particularly fun!

alice c said...

I vote for Simplicissimus because I want to see if you can get to the end of the post without using the cut and paste feature.

M said...

Oh my...I drool in the general direction of your library. One of my treasured books is a 1954 translation of The Long Ships (one of my fav books)which my dad found at a sale of a Norwegian man's library.

I have been peeking at your blog and enjoying seeing your books :)

Tinniegirl said...

What an amazing gift and collection. Sorry to hear about the death of your grandfather. He sounds like an amazing man.

h&b said...

I agree that I have lost books along the way, but they remain with me always.

Books are merely things .. if you burn them, the stories are still there .. x