It was a productive stay at writer’s camp. Finished my novel and read Diski’s What I don’t Know About Animals, Haraway’s Manifestly Haraway, and Binet’s The 7th Function of Language. Listened to Pynchon’s The Bloody Edge, and Coats’ Between the World and Me. (Tight race for first place between Coats, Gibson, and Binet.)
Also, while working in my fields, I had time to think about things – mostly what was going to happen in the next day’s installment of my book, but also about the inevitable process of whittling my operation down to age-appropriate dimensions.
It seems our daughter and her husband might want to buy our house,
meaning we’d move over to the top floor of the Gallery across the street. 2500 square feet of life’s accumulation down to about 1350.
Do-able, but challenging! And what about Ten Pound Island Book Co.? I’m already pretty lean and mean. I can always get meaner, but how much leaner?
Do I really need those hundreds and hundreds of books I think of as my “Reference Library?”
Or those hundreds and hundreds more – “my library” – stashed in every corner of the house (not to mention smashed chock-a-block into the basement and upstairs hallways of the gallery into which we propose to move (They’ll be the first to go!)
And in what sense would I reduce my already-reduced business? Give up catalogs and just do appraisals? Send everything to auction so there’s never anything clogging up shelves? Turn into a canny eBay geek? (Probably too late for the “canny” part.)
These are the sorts of things one thinks about while chopping trees and cutting brush.
Then, of course, after I got back home and sorted through the wine carton full of bills (a mere four checks had arrived in my absence), I looked in the cupboard and the cupboard was bare.
Nothing but good, interesting maritime books, the kind I used to make a living selling. You know, the kind the Internet has made worthless. I’ve been cataloging them diligently for 8 hours and the total value comes out to a little more than $3000.
Maybe I’ll just apply for a job as a greeter at Walmart. Or how about driving an ice cream truck?