Two posts in as many weeks! Try not to pass out or anything, I don’t actually have anything much to say.

I recently assimilated my this past semester’s college books into my existing book collection, which is always a time of trauma for all involved (particularly the bookshelves) every semester. Prior to moving, I had only one minuscule bookshelf which was bowing under the strain of many weighty tomes. When we moved into this house, there were two bookshelfy things in one of the rooms. They stunk and were gross, like everything in the house, but I cleaned them up and fiddled around with them, and they hold books quite admirably, if in a somewhat frilly manner. Anyway, I’m so proud of these bookish accomplishments that I took pictures, tagged with my (pseudo) organizational system!
Smaller shelf that sits on my desk.
Larger shelf that’s probably supposed to be on a dresser or something. Why, yes, that is my Stars Wars poster. 🙂

The problem with bookshelves is that you never have enough. When you have one, you have a ton of books with no shelf home. So you get two, and you still have books with no shelf home. Homeless books! Unacceptable! So you buy another bookshelf, and you STILL have homeless books, and then you realize there’s no end to this vicious cycle, and you’re surrounded by piles and mountains and peaks of books, and you’ve spent all your money on books, and you don’t even particularly mind. Death of a book addict. This is how it begins.

The thesis research nears completion! Actually, it is completed. I went through the last book today. I’ve read 50 books for it, with 129 pages of typed, single-spaced notes on said books, not counting Biblical research or a couple online journals I used. I started organizing the mountain of notes a couple days ago, which was a rather Herculean task all on its own. I’m hoping to have everything organized and an outline written by the end of Sunday, so that all that’s left is to sit down and write it. Although, I’ll need to take a break from it for a day or so to do more resume-sending. I’ve sent out 9 so far, all in North Carolina because I promised Mom I’d apply in this state first before striking out too far from home. Gagh, so much to do.

All right, brace yourselves, this is some fascination coming at you. One of the books I read for my thesis was The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, and this is an excerpt from a letter to Walter Hooper, 20 February 1968:
“I remember Jack [C.S. Lewis] telling me a story of Brightman, the distinguished ecclesiastical scholar, who used to sit quietly in Common Room saying nothing except on rare occasions. Jack said that there was a discussion on dragons one night and at the end Brightman’s voice was heard to say, ‘I have seen a dragon.’ Silence. ‘Where was that?’ he was asked. ‘On the Mount of Olives,’ he said. He relapsed into silence and never before his death explained what he meant.”

Very few things could be more imagination-sparking than reading that late at night curled up with a massive book of letters when one is already thinking about wonderful things. I think it’s very healthy to believe in the possibility of things, it makes life so much more interesting.

Also, somewhere in my research I came across this quote from St. Bernard de Clairvaux about people in stories:
“We read their life, we read their death,
And to us it is sweet as bread.
Their life, their death, are our bread.
So lives their life, so lives their death,
So live they still and yet are dead
And their death is the bread of the living.”

I think that’s probably one of the most glorious arguments for literature you’re likely to find.

Advertisements