Onto the second shelf. We find old favourites, more recent reads and some obscure ones. About half are on their way out. And just after I start, I see on the TV that decluttering is ‘trendy’.
These are the ones I am keeping, just to turn decluttering on its head. A biography of Harold Larwood…. surely I’ll read that again. I first read it in a windy Aberystwyth, in a top floor room with the seagulls making a huge racket outside. A ‘biography’ of Jerusalem, which I surely must finish one day. Or will it go out in the second cull? William Gibson, of course. Colin Cowrey’s autobiography: a 20th birthday present from my parents, which I will keep for sentimental reasons.
How can I possibly throw Graham Swift away? Though of course I would be passing him on to a charity shop, which I think is worthy. He is one of my favourite modern authors, who seems to me to be exploring ways of remembering the (fictional) past. But I’m never going to re-read him, so I’m giving him to the eldest Miss Oblique.
So now, as usual, a mixed bag. I have, I think, read them all, even ‘The Tao of Physics.’ There’s ‘Tinker. Tailor, Soldier, Spy’, a nearly perfect novel; but I must have read it three or four times. I have rather gone off John Fowles, and he seems to be rather out of fashion, but this is a great novel. Russell Hoban is rather neglected in my humble opinion. As usual, my argument is that I am never going to read them again. That might seem a rather negative view, but the converse is that I have now got a clear view on our shelves of an exciting selection to look at and pick up again. And there’s so much more out there.