My mother volunteers with The Friends of the Library and likes to find books that she thinks I might like while working her shifts. I realize that I’ve become somewhat jaded in regards to these finds. While I know that people have different taste in theory, in practice it seems like I most often end up with books that I toss right back into library sale circulation. Of course, it is also possible that her library is frequented by my reading doppelganger. Perhaps a gang of them?
When my mom visited for Thanksgiving, she brought with her a stack of six books that I will do my best to remain hopeful about as I make my way through them. It’s also quite possible that the reason I tend to be disappointed with these books is that I’m looking for the reason someone didn’t want to keep them.
And to be fair, there have been gems. For instance, this note on the back of a page ripped from THE BOOK LOVER’S CALENDAR and tucked under the front flap of Gravity’s Rainbow: This book is dense and highly obscene. It is supposed to be the most important book since WWII; however, I would rather read Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake or Ulysses than this trash. Look it up on Wikipedia. You really can’t beat anonymous commentary like this. And looking it up on Wikipedia, you can then learn that Gravity’s Rainbow was set to win the Pulitzer Prize for 1974, but the advisory board was too offended by the content so no one received the prize for literature that year. This reader was clearly not my doppelganger since such warnings only made me want to read the book more. And to be fair, it is both dense and obscene. But I kept it!