13 August 2008

Ex Libris: The List

It seems my last post about the unknown whereabouts of a significant chunk of my book collection has caused a silent stir. While one very tempting suggestion made its way to my comments, the clamor created by my complaint was mostly voiced in my email inbox.

Image: Paul BĂ©liveau

One literature hoarder wrote to me, saying that she did not want to comment in public because the disclosure of her guilt to the Internet at large is a little intimidating. She thinks maybe she is hoarding some of my books, but she's shy and she's not exactly sure which books of mine she has borrowed. She accused me of making her "feel busted for a crime I didn't know I was committing," and then requested that I post the Ex-Libris List here so she could scan her shelves and return my missing materials.

I looked over the email. Then I looked over my list. Then I looked at the part of the email where my comrade suggested that she didn't want to be exposed as a book thief on the Internet. Then I looked over the list again. Oddly, I felt like I didn't want this list to be exposed. I thought that, somehow, some huge part of me would be revealed through its contents.

So I decided not to share.

Fast forward a few hours, and I receive another request for the list from a potential book borrower. I looked over the email and I looked over the list. I knew one thing for certain: it was going to take me a long time to type it all up.

This is a list of books that I wanted to share with people, and that I liked well enough to get back. I decided other book lovers might like to take a gander as well. Or, all three of my semi-regular readers might come across a title and say, "I loved that book, too!"

So I decided to share.

Now, I'm going on a minor tangent here. I keep attempting to beat my inner dramaturg to death. Mostly this is because professional doctor types keep telling me that my career is a detriment to my health. The trouble is, my inner dramaturg is sort of a bruiser and therefore not easily subdued. Once I think I've got it good and pulpy, it bites at my ankles letting me know that it has something to say. Then we usually end up having a conversation that goes like this:
KC: (clenching my Achilles.) Yow! I did not let you out of your cage.

ID: Dude, I just want to say that I think your list idea is a good one, but I'm wondering if you've thought about presenting it in smaller chunks?

KC: Fuck you. I don't want your help. Nobody does.

ID: Hey, man. I'm not here to stir some shit in your soup. I'm just saying that I've seen the list and I think there are some distinct genres popping out. I feel like your blogs readers might potentially be overwhelmed by one long list.

KC: You dare criticize me, thou lowly beast? No one tells The Great Crowcrastinator what to do! Particularly not in such namby-pamby, passive-aggressive fashion.

ID: Look, breaking the list up will create several opportunities for doing what you do best. You break it up a little bit, and you can go to town with your cutesy little idiosyncratic anecdotes. It'll be fan-fuckin-tastic.

KC: Really?

ID: Yeah.

KC: Are you sure?

ID: We can flesh one out together. See how it goes.

KC: Ooooh. Actually, we can't.

ID: Why not?

KC: We lost our funding. You're going to have to go back to your cage.


KC: Hey, uh... thanks.

ID: You're welcome, Sunshine.

KC: Now don't come back until you can help me get my rent paid!

So, the Ex-Libris List will be posted in 8 parts beginning tomorrow. Buckle your seatbelts, kiddos.


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