“I was perfectly inured to attacks upon my implements. I had heard books attacked for their bulk, their weight, their fragility, their similarity, their contradictiousness, their uselessness, their effect upon the figure, their drain upon the pocket, and also for their contents.” – E.M. Forster, Ansell
I assure you I had absolutely no intention of going, but I was on the street, and then there was a parking spot, and – I could look after all couldn’t I?
What was this bewitching attraction? The annual library book sale of course. But, as I said, I was just looking. Which is exactly what I told myself as I scanned the contents of my anemic wallet while walking quickly from the parking spot to the first tent, don’t go! don’t go! a small helpless voice said deep inside me.
I held – should I say fondled? no I should not. Held. I held many books, but it is not enough to want to read something, if it is going to take up valuable space it had better be because I foresee a desire to come back to it again. I immediately came across such a book, I took hold of it in my arms with rapturous possessiveness. And then another, after all, I could not leave D.H. Lawrence on the table, that would be rude.
I wandered over to the tiny poetry table and picked up an attractive paperback that looked to be about my age titled French Symbolist Poetry, I can’t say I know what that means exactlty, so I opened it up to a random page and read:
With long sobs
of autumn wound
my heart with langorous
Choking and pale
when I mind the tale
the hours keep,
my memory strays
down other days
and I weep;
and I let me go
where ill winds blow
now here, now there,
harried and sped
even as a dead
Oh for christ’s sake. That killed me. I shouldn’t buy it, but I do…that and perhaps six or seven more, I don’t count them. I rushed off to work. They sat very well behaved in my car, humming with the satisfaction of their success in my seduction -as if it had been a challenge. I stashed The Life to Come and Other Tales by E.M. Forster in my purse and was soon reading it as I sautéed zucchini and onions in a Sicilian agrodolce style for my client’s dinner- “You’re a witch!” she declared in her rolling brogue as she delightedly ate it.
“Whatever it is, it must stop,” said Sir Edwin. “It’s a dangerous habit. You must break yourself of it before it is fully formed.” –E.M. Forster, Albergo Empedocle
*“Them books!” E.M. Forster, Ansell