Thursday, March 03, 2005

All Booked Up

I'm sitting at the computer in our home office and pondering the eclectic collection of books on the shelf beside me.

For instance, here's one pile, and from bottom to top, there is:

1. Usted y yo -- that was my grade 10 Spanish book, used many lunas ago, in school.
2. Home Buying Strategies for Resale Homes [did we use any of the strategies when we bought our two homes? I think not.]
3. Why We Love the Dogs We Do
4. The Jewish Pleasure Principle
5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People [do they list my bad habits, I wonder]
6. The Business Writer's Handbook
7. How To Clean Practically Anything [man, that book is gathering dust!]
8. How To Succeed in Your Home Business
9. After Long Silence [ a powerful memoir about the secrets that held one family together in a bond of silence for more than four decades. Hint: author was raised Roman Catholic, and only as an adult, did she discover her parents were Jewish, Holocaust survivors living invented lives.]
10. A Dictionary of Textile Terms [referred to in the prelim pages as "the new language of fabrics." Now why we even have this book at all is beyond me.]
11. Waters of Babylon [short stories written by my girlfriend's father, describing his life in Bagdad, Iraq, before his family moved to Israel. This is an autographed copy, and as well, I have a credit in the book, as I helped with the editing of this vanity press book.]
12. Webster's Thesaurus
13. Parenting Wit and Wisdom [no, I did not write that book]

Yes, this is certainly a random gathering on one shelf. Another bookshelf on the opposite wall houses an assortment of cookbooks on one shelf and a collection of benschers gathered from many simchas over the years on another shelf.

Our home is certainly a house of books --- children's books, business books, reference books, cookbooks, coffee table books (but we have no coffee tables, so they're just "shelved books"), parenting books, educational books and Jewish and religious books.

But with our last move, I had to lose some of the amassed novels and outdated reference books because of space allowance. Saying goodbye to a book is sometimes like saying goodbye to a friend. First you offer a quick hello (when you don't recall that you even had read the book, so you skim the pages) and then a quick goodbye -- and move on.

I even have a few autographed books with personal messages -- Canadian poet Irving Layton's poetry collection For My Brother Jesus, Herman Wouk's The Hope, Mordecai Richler's Joshua Then and Now, to name a few. These books will remain treasured friends, and I will continue to make room for them in my life -- and on my bookshelf!

Here Comes the Sun...

March 3. Toronto. Middle of winter. Sun is shining. Sun is shining very brightly. Sun is blinding. Sun is blinding me as I drive in to work. Blinding sun makes me think...

People tend to complain every which way.

It's winter, there's too much snow, I wish it would let up. So what does it do? IT RAINS. Bring back the snow, people cry out.

It's gray outside, murky and miserable-looking. I wish it would be sunny for once. Okay, so it's sunny. It's too sunny. It's blinding drivers and pedestrians on the road. They are just accidents waiting to happen. I want gloomy again, people say.

It's been a dry season. I wish it would rain. The heavens hear, open up, and pound the earth with torrential rains, the skies with jagged lightning and cracks of thunder. Are we on our way to build an ark? Too much rain, they complain.

I wish it were warmer. I'm tired of wearing a jacket or sweater outside. The heat comes, the heat stays, it's too's unbearable. Damn, I'm tired of the heat, and I'm catching a cold from sitting in front of the air conditioner and fan all day.

Now I think one thing we wouldn't complain about is happiness. 'Cause too much happiness is a very good thing, and one would be inclined to share it with others.

[Now, for all you folks who wonder why I didn't put "money" into any equation, the reason is simple. People complain without money, people still complain with money, and I've seen and heard that too much money is not necessarily a good thing. Just think like this: all the money in the world might get you some good medical care, but it won't save you when you've been given a "deadline" on life.]