Jim's Polka

The life of a former software engineer, now a law student

Sunday, May 09, 2004

When D. and I moved in together 3 years ago, we had to solve a not-insignificant problem: where to put all the books. This was actually two problems. The first was that we didn't have enough bookcases. That was pretty easy to deal with. The second problem was one of hierarchy. Which books are worthy of being put in the living room? Which books go in the spare bedroom. Which ones go into our bedroom? I'm sure if it had been left to me, I would have put them on shelves in the order that they came out of the boxes, because that's the kind of person I am. D. prefers things a bit more organized. In the end, the living room shelves got the books that make us look smart (largely her books from undergrad and some of my nonfiction) and the rest went into the other two rooms. I like to tease her that we were hiding our fundamentally lowbrow tastes from the world this way.

I'm wondering if I just did the same thing with my list of favorite books. Don't get me wrong, I liked every book on the list (with the special exception of One Hundred Years of Solitude, of course). Some of them moved me. All of them fascinated me. But, the books that I really love are the ones that suck me in, take me to a different world and then let me go at the end. So, I've read most of James Clavell's books. When I go to the library, I love to pick up 3 or 4 science fiction books that I can finish in a day or two. I even liked The DaVinci Code, which took me less than 24 hours to read. In nonfiction, I loved The Tipping Point and Double Helix. And, of course, the top light reading books, the Harry Potter books. They cost me a lot of sleep when I started reading them.

Postscript: I think I've rubbed off on D. a little bit. She doesn't seem to mind my science fiction in the living room anymore.
Post-postscript: And we are not as lowbrow as I'm selling it. Just eclectic. We also like the theater, the symphony and the ballet. D.'s job hasn't allowed much time to go out for things like that, but we did see the Kirov ballet when they were in town a few months ago.