goodbye . . . hello

Say hello and goodbye to about half of today’s ‘to go’ pile.

I had not intended the disposal of my academic books to turn into a wholescale excavation of the existing contents of our bookshelves, but that is what has now happened. When you consider that I have already disposed of over 40 boxes of books; that our shelves are still full to bursting, and that Tom spent much of last weekend building new shelves to house the three-boxes-full that I decided to retain, then the extent of the problem becomes apparent. So, today it was goodbye to Ian McEwan, Sebastian Faulks, and Julian &*(*(&*! Barnes. It struck me, as I flung them onto the ‘to go’ pile, just how much bourgeois shite has been published over the past few decades under the name of ‘British literary fiction’. About the only Booker-winning author that I was genuinely pleased to see was James Kelman (and he doesn’t really count). I also decided, as I culled Paul Auster, and John Updike (shudder), that Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians was about my favourite ‘literary’ novel that has been published in my lifetime. (Excluding crime fiction, which I love, and read voraciously).

As well as getting rid of the turkeys, I said hello to some old favourites:

and discovered some forgotten treasures:

It was particularly nice to rescue Watson’s wonderful Annals from their dusty corner, and place them prominently on a shelf.

I am almost done with the books. Normal business will resume here shortly.