James Lileks: Heretic, Again

In his Bleat yesterday, he said:

Me, I’d like to get rid of every single book I have, except for twenty or so. I would like them all scanned and digitized and accessible via iPad, thank you. Yes, yes, the argument about the love of books; I love them too. The love of being surrounded by your library? Yes yes. But. I would be more likely to dip into something if it was incorporeal. On the shelf, they all seem to reproach me: you don’t remember me, do you? All that time we spent together. But I remember the good times; isn’t that enough? Really: if I could, I’d reduce everything to a big desk in a white room with a shelf holding just a few books. The obligations of possessions, the accretion of things: it’s enough to make a Buddhist of me.

He said something similar in September of last year, so he’s obviously not that serious about it. But if he is, well, the more for me.

Of course, what kind of compulsive book acquirer am I these days? I spent several hours last night volunteering at the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library book fair and did not buy a single book. Because I’m waiting for bag day.

2 thoughts on “James Lileks: Heretic, Again

  1. I used to have three walls of a bedroom lined with books, mostly purchased for college and grad school or bought when I was a voracious reader at 14 years old. Now I have only a few kept on a shelf, but they’re precious friends.

  2. Brutha, I’d watch it. You’re within far closer striking distance for a Crusade than that heretic in Minnesota.

    On the other hand, more books for me!

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