Home > Dispatches >Daily Dispatches 2022 > Daily Dispatch #330

December 1, 2022: What we Talk about when we Talk about Books

With no apologizes to Raymond Carver, known to his friends as Ray. Books R Us, this is my life right now. I have spent the past four days sorting and categorizing the books that were dropped off at the Meeting House on Sunday evening. In all fairness to accuracy, I also organized the stock that I had on hand.

Tomorrow I will sort and categorize what’s left, which are the young adult books. Some of these books will be going to be put in the bookcases going to the schools. The rest will be going to villages. I don’t really have room for what’s out on the tables, but I’ll figure out something. I always do.

Alys with three pallets of warehouse books

Why am I doing this? The answer is quite simple. I’m doing this for affirmation. I connect with readers and vice versa when a book lands in the right hands. Thank yous also keep me going. It must be that at this stage of my life, that I am badly in need of positive reinforcement. Must be that my dopamine levels are quite low.

So many books, so little time. This is my current mantra. I read on an average, 3-4 books a week. This isn’t counting the children’s books that I bring home. What happens is that, of course, for every four books I read, I bring eight more home.

I have finally learned that if a book is dull, that I am not obligated to finish it. I just attempted to read a book by Anne Lamott – it’s about her 19 year old son’s having a child. You talk about boring. Maybe this book was of interest to her long-time readers, family members, and friends. I just found it boring, so I abandoned it at what I’m now calling my 50 page cutoff point. If I’m not sucked in by then, adios motherfucker and kiss my ass.

I also attempted to read a book by Nicolas Baker, on the subject of the digitization of library materials. As with the Lamott book, I abandoned it when I got to page 50. It was just too dense for me, and it didn’t have enough narratively-based supplemental material.

And last night, I read a book about Gudalett College, and the students’ 1988 seven day protest. I was disappointed because while this book contained names and roles, it was short on information about the students and about the school. The students wanted and got a deaf president. They also had three other demands, but these were never listed in the book. I also wanted to know how the students organized themselves. No, none of the characters came to life, except for the newly appointed president, who had no choice but to resign. She did this with considerable grace. I actually felt bad for her. Too bad that the students didn’t meet with her and explore possible options. To burn her in effigy seemed to be a rather callus move.

Books, books, and more books. Well, my world view is probably expanding like a balloon left on a radiator.

Next: 331. 12/2/22: Life and Death on the Farm

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles