Monday, January 10, 2011

Living in a Library

Reading is an activity subsequent to writing--more resigned, more civil, more intellectual. - Jorge Luis Borges

What used to be just a crazy home idea finally happened: my housemate and I sorted and catalogued our books as we moved to the apartment unit nextdoor. And it's not even our books, it's our other housemates.' Well, that's what I get from choosing to live with a UP professor, a UP student, and another bookworm of a friend. And being a former Comparative Literature student myself, this should definitely feel like heaven for me.

So there were more than 400 books logged, and those are just the literary books, because we wanted to keep track of which novels we have at home and eventually make a reading list. We ended up sorting in these categories: novels, poetry/tula, short stories/anthologies, children's lit, young adult lit, Philippine fiction in English, panitikang pilipino, and essays/memoirs. There was a special section for Japanese authors, and of course, we had a separate shelf for our favorite authors: Gabriel Garcia-Marquez and Michael Chabon. And those are just half of the whole collection that my housemates have; the others, un-catalogued, are non-fiction books on sociology, politics, economics, Marxism, feminist and gender studies, cinema, documentary filmmaking, media studies, anthropology, cultural studies, photography, and other fields of interest like sign language and sex. We were so overwhelmed by the humongous collection, and it is so much more difficult now to decide which one to pick and read first.

Although our apartment is usually messy like hell, I love this home of ours, because it makes me feel good, even just the sight and smell of all these books, which I believe must number almost a thousand already. I figure that if I would be able to read them all, I'd be so damn smart and crazy, but intellectual, (in a sexy way) nonetheless.

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