Friday, August 19, 2016


I came across this observation from Umberto Eco (author of The Name of the Rose, from which I've quoted in the past) in an article by Lee Randall, For The Love Of Stuff:
The contents of someone's bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.
It resonated with me, particularly as we contemplate moving next year, work on paring down our voluminous possessions, and as I gaze on my library (not to mention the many volumes squirreled away elsewhere in our home).

It sometimes seems silly to be so attached to my stuff, and George Carlin has a very funny routine mocking our attachment to it (your home "is just a pile of stuff with a cover on"), but at an elemental level, Eco's words captures my attitude.  Lee Randall goes on to write:
Open my front door and the first thing you notice are books. They line the walls, hover overhead, and stack up on tables. Each is a chunk of autobiography, a clue to who I was while reading it, what I found to love inside its pages and where it sent me next.
She has some feelings about this that don't touch me, "I fear that disposing of my possessions would dissolve me. I’m precariously balanced on an emotional seesaw".  I don't fear that at all.  But I do like my books, my library, the feelings they evoke and the memories they create. 

No comments:

Post a Comment