Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why can't library cards earn us airline miles?

I have been amazingly literate lately -- for me this means going to the library twice in the last month. I'm pretty sure I'm going to stop buying books altogether, because library books are so much more pleasing to me than anything I purchase.

Why are library books always better? I feel practically compelled to eat them (literally), while if I buy a book, I can only read like 3 pages a day. I complain about books that I buy, often dislike them, and will very likely never read them again. Maybe because I spent many years trying to create an impressive library and I only bought books that I believed should appear on display in my home, so that anyone who visited my home would be impressed by my eclectic and fabulous literary taste. That was in college; it alarms me that I still know people who read and buy books in this way -- to display them. That is gross.

That is what the Auersbergers in Thomas Bernhard's "Woodcutters," which I just finished, do: host disgusting "artistic dinners" and invite the kinds of people who buy books in order to display them, in order to display their own books. If you would like to be completely grossed out by the future godawful personalities that of many of our contemporaries will inhabit by the time they're 50, you should read it. It is lovely and hilarious. A man narrates an entire novel while angrily sitting in a chair in a dark room at a party, picking apart all the guests and refusing to interact with them. Also, this book has also made me almost completely certain that I am about to abandon American literature completely...


Anonymous said...

i love the library. i need to go to the library. how do you find books at the library? i often have the video store overwhelm whilst in the library and end up reading something moldy that makes my eyelids swell.

i like thomas bernhard. i am going to read that book.

Megan said...

I snoop through other people's book lists on goodreads and make lists before I go. I cannot experience spontenaity at the library.

Are you on goodreads? I recently became obsessed with it. I think you are not on there, or else I would be plundering your booklists for sure. Get on there!

Anonymous said...

i feel weird about goodreads. i started an account but then i felt overwhelmed again.

i'll consider it after i've done my taxes.

Kathryn said...

do you read the "haut or not" columns on html giant? it is pertinent. people send in pictures of their books and jimmy chen decides whether they're haut or not. jimmy is funny but the pictures people send in sound like that thomas bernhard book. i am kind of tempted to send in a picture of my suze orman book, the copy of "what color is your parachute" that my mom got me, and like...photoshop for dummies.