Monday, July 09, 2007

Course, I left the entire shelf of Stephen King untouched.

Spent the whole weekend — really, from the time we got up Saturday till about 8:00 last night, when we ate dinner crashed on the couch watching Entourage — making room for Kid Gleemonex in our house. This involved moving-level activity in every room but the kitchen, and was very productive and satisfying but Jesus H, was it a pain in the ass. Mr. Gleemonex was a champ, doing all the trips to Home Despot, measuring, planning, furniture disassembly/reassembly and heavy lifting, while I did tedious but necessary things like de-crapifying the giganto computer desk (Visa statements from 1998, anyone?) and vacuuming cobwebs off the baseboards.

One of the most satisfying chores, for me, was culling our well-overfilled Entire Wall o' Bookshelves of items we didn’t need to have at the ready — crap books that will now live in a box in the garage. Besides dupes, financial advice books, pointless boring everlasting sci-fi and the like, here’s what got the heave-ho:

John Updike: Hate you, hate you, haaaaate you, you misogynist old bastard. Had to read you for grad school, never will again.

William Faulkner: Sorry, man. Never got it, never will.

Melissa Bank’s Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing: An ill-advised foray into chick lit. There’s 90 minutes I’ll never get back.

Ayn Rand: Please, bitch, get over yourself.

Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser: Britrock stars of the Renaissance though they both be, who’m I kidding, even pretending I’d settle in for an evening’s read of these guys?

Sophie’s Choice: Goddamn, what fantastic suck. Couldn’t get past about 50 pages. Fuck you, Styron. Go hang out with your fellow penis-worshipper Updike.

Hemingway: Meh. Go back to impressing impressionable young men, sir.

CS Lewis’s non-Narnia works: I am SO TIRED of the Christian apologists. You’re out, CS.

Virginia Woolf, all of which was bought because of school requirements: I think I’m at the point in my life at which I can safely declare that
my feminist cred does not depend on liking — or professing to like, or even publicly owning the work of — Virginia Fucking Woolf.

And now my bookshelves are filled only with good stuff, great stuff, awesomely bad stuff, old friends and reminders of strange dashes into fringe ideas, just as a good bookshelf ought to be ...

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Blogger bgirl said...

This is so funny - hubby and I just cleaned out the old book shelves not too long ago. Why have we insisted on hanging on to books that have no purpose, meaning or power for us? Because of some unspoken taboo about ditching books? They are our culture's version of sacred items,

even when they suck.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Heh! Yeah, note I'm not even giving the books to a charity or something -- I DON'T WANT THEM AND WILL NEVER READ THEM AGAIN, so of course we're going to store them in a box in the garage and in 71 years when we've passed on, the great-grandkids are gonna have to deal with them instead ...

1:51 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I hate Updike so bad. My dad hates him too and will call me whenever he has a fiction piece in the New Yorker and we talk shit. This makes me so happy.

Also, by some coincidence, I just read GGTH&F this week, only 8 years after the rest of the nation. I hate chick lit, but I liked the protagonist.

10:48 PM  
Blogger Jory Dayne said...

Goodness -- I went through that awful phase where I thought anything Ayn Rand wrote was scripture (I believe the term is a randroid)/

Now I go back and I'm like "Wha? That doesn't make ANY sense." Although I think the weird sexual tension found between all of her protagonists really made an undeniable impression on me.

Meaning it really fucked up all of my relationships. Its like I'm always having the Rourkeian monologue in my head "Do I love her? Is that possible? 'Cause I don't hate her... and it seems like if I loved her, I should also hate her. Say, shouldn't I have thrown a glass of brandy into the fire in a fit of blind lust/rage by now?"

1:49 AM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

Jory, you KILL me. In the best possible way. :-) We should all throw more glasses of brandy into the fire in fits of blind lust/rage ...

Sarah, it warms the cockles of my blackened heart that you (AND your dad!) hate Updike. There's not enough public hate of that fucktard going around -- why does the New Yorker continue to pay this happy asshole to write about his own hairy old prick, after all these years? Ugh.

9:16 AM  
Blogger HHL said...

appreciatively golf-clapping the marginalization of Styron, Updike, and Faulkner (call me dumb (and many have), but I don't get it either), while loudly booing the trashing of Hemingway and Rand.

I get that a lot of people don't like Hemingway, and I think I understand why, but maybe I'm still (even at my age) a bit impressionable. Rand, on the other hand... I would have thought you, Gleemonex, would at least applaud her denunciation of Religion as a raison d'etre in favor of humanism (albeit a somewhat bent form of it). I readily admit that she has many faults, but the basic themes and characters are fascinating if not wholly true or agreeable. Rourke in particular is one of my all-time favorite characters (Dean: "but it's the Parthenon!; Rourke: Yes, goddamn it, the Parthenon").

But anyway, each to her own. I can't seem to throw away any books, even the ones I Hate. Someday I will literally be buried in them.

4:53 PM  

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