Sunday, April 06, 2008

forest, n. wood(s), tall timber, timberland, woodland, grove, coppice, copse, thicket

My bedside is a miniature city of books, piled like smokestacks, row houses and dilapidated shacks.

I don’t know what half those books are doing there. I read in bed very rarely. When it’s time for bed, it’s time. Lights out.

A couple of my bedside books I never intend to read, like Sue Miller’s While I Was Gone. It looks interesting, but it’s way low on the list. It’s not even on the list. So why is it next to my bed? I was browsing it once, and there it is, having nowhere else to go. Going on three years.

King Leopold’s Ghost is also there. This is on my to-read list. Someday. I guess it’s there to keep alive my vague commitment.

The Bible is there, which I occassionally enjoy for its language. But I don’t pick it up and read a daily dose of verse. Hell, I’m an atheist.

Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis is beside the bed because I’d like sometimes to blame my misfortune on someone else. With passion and eloquence.

The Penguin Book of Women Poets is there, which I got in college. I don’t crack it open often, having pretty much memorized it, but it’s nice to see it every day.

I’ve got a couple reference books bedside, too. Eric Partridge’s Smaller Slang Dictionary is one, though it isn’t all that good and besides the slang is British. "Theoretical slang."

Roget’s Thesaurus is also there, probably the bedside book I look at most. I read recently that Roget began compiling lists of synonyms to distract himself because half his family was crazy or suicidal and he was also prone to depression. I like that. It’s also a good motivation to read the thesaurus.

**Thx to Erin Tyner for the photo from her Half-Awake series.


Bebe said...

Hi sarah,

Love the list of books, I have books in small piles all over the house, the bedside table, next to my favorite chair, on the book shelf next to my desk, and of course in a basket in the bathroom; as if I paused long enough moving from one room to the next, to be able to absorb the words on passing. I very much enjoyed your list and the thoughts it sparked.

:) brenda

Beau Blue said...

In my bedroom there are only half a dozen books on my side of the bed. All biographies except the bible that my parents gave me when I was 13. They're on a single bookshelf with a bottle of 12 year old scotch and my Waterford crystal tumbler. The stack of books you describe reminds me of my wife's nightstand.

My lap top is on my night stand. We both read in bed, but I rarely have a book.

There are two lap tops in the living room (my wife's is used most. I have my studio computers. But every now and then I'm in the living room when I need to confirm something, so there's my 'spare' lap top). Our den is wall-to-wall books and a really comfy futon.

My studio holds 3 computers, down from the 5 I had before I retired. Of course, my studio has three 8' high by 4' wide redwood bookshelves as well. They're overflowing.

We live in a forest and hug trees. A whole family of tree huggers. I campaign constantly to eliminate paper and ink in favor of online publishing. All for the love of forests.


SarahJane said...

it's like the floating world of the japanese.

beau, my husband has a nightstand, too, and of course his own side of the bed. and there is nothing on it except a lamp, although he reads in bed more than i do. he's just a neatnik.

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