As you may know, I’ve been busy moving. Yes, I’m leaving Cronin Park behind. But not far behind, I’ve moved only a few blocks and a couple of stories. I packed up and moved about a dozen boxes of books, some 17 running feet of shelf space. Not a vast amount compared to the holdings of some of my academically-minded (and often larger-domiciled) friends, but probably a pretty high page count for the average American, if not the average citizen of the Peoples Republic of Cambridge.
Anyway, I moved the furniture around a bunch and I’m starting to think the old bookshelves are not what I need, so the books remain packed. I live among them, but they’re tantalizingly just out of reach. Sure, I have a couple of books I’m currently reading out, and a short stack at work. Even Prospero was marooned on the island with some of his library, seemingly more than just a couple of paperbacks:
Some food we had and some fresh water that
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,
Out of his charity, being then appointed
Master of this design, did give us, with
Rich garments, linens, stuffs and necessaries,
Which since have steaded much; so, of his gentleness,
Knowing I loved my books, he furnish’d me
From mine own library with volumes that
I prize above my dukedom.
It’s a bit like being on the road. Hotel rooms don’t generally have libraries. Of course, I don’t regularly read even a fraction of those books, but it nonetheless makes me itchy not to have them at my fingertips. I wonder how long I’ll be able to resist unpacking just a few. And after that, just a couple more…
Thanks for the excerpt from The Tempest. I love my books and I can’t imagine being separated from some of them.