Wednesday, January 9, 2019

I have always imagined Paradise as a kind of library: some books of enduring importance (to me)

If you’ve been about social media for a while you’ve probably encountered one of these ‘upload six books to Facebook, no discussion, just covers’ things. There’s the usual stipulation that you should then tag someone else to do the same. I’ve been invited/borderline bullied to do these on a number of occasions and I’ve always resisted, mostly because I just couldn’t be bothered and probably don’t have the self-discipline to see it through over the course of a week. I’m also unlikely to be able to narrow it down to just six books.

On New Year’s Eve, prior to the celebrations kicking off, I spent a delightful afternoon restocking the shelves of my personal library. I’ve been working on a research project that has required a rather large amount of reference checking (archaeology is just so glam!) and every time I’ve needed a book, I’ve retrieved it from my ground-floor library and brought it to my garret office. And there it has invariably stayed. My intentions were good – I certainly intended to bring them all back, but I needed them close at hand in case they were required again at short notice. It was only when the piles started to loom and threaten the safety of the resident feline that I realised it was past time to act.

As I found spaces on shelves, moved tomes, and reordered volumes, I discovered several books that would make just such a list of items important to me, not all of which I have the inclination to explain beyond noting their enduring personal significance. As you may expect, the greater part of these are archaeological in nature, or have a twist in that direction. With one exception, I have maintained the instruction to only post covers. I’ve, of course, well exceeded the nominal limit, but let’s not fall out over it, shall we?

I have no interest in tagging others to do the same, but I think it might be an interesting experiment to see the books that have retained importance with other archaeology types. Thus, I throw the offer open to friends and colleagues – if you would care to share some books that have special meaning to you, please consider this an open invitation to contribute!

In the meantime, please enjoy my selection:

The first portion of the title of this post is a quote from ‘Poem of the Gifts’ by Jorge Luis Borges. But, of course, you knew that.

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