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Bookaholics Anonymous

I am thinking about a friend who buys books without having any immediate intention of reading them.   He sees a tempting-looking book and he buys it.  For future use.  When he retires he says he imagines he will have time to read the books he has accumulated, unread, over the years.  He sees himself in a comfy armchair with a fire in the grate and a tower or two of books leaning from the floor beside him.  I am adding a bottle of whisky in case he hasn't thought of it. 

In the meantime, I wonder, what does he do with them?  Does he shelve them, in their rightful place, alphabetically?  Does he have a special shelf he keeps for unread books:  Books I will Read Some Day?  If he puts them in the literature (or philosophy or non-fiction (assuming he can keep these categories apart, I know I can't)) section of his library, will he remember he hasn't read them and will he ever read them? It gives me nightmares to think about it.  As it gives me nightmares to go into the stacks at the library and look at all the books I will never read.

I have almost finished my Christmas books, including the Stieg Larsson books my son handed down to me, third or fourth hand. One I read on a transatlantic flight and on into jet lag nights in Paris.  Mr Larsson, you shouldn't have climbed those seven flights of stairs, you should have gone to the gym more, you should have smoked fewer cigarettes (I know, I'm confusing you with your journalist-hero), because I couldn't put The Girl with the Hornet's Nest down and now I have no Larsson books about powerful women.  You should have seen me stamping around the house.

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If you want strong women

Read Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead if you want strong women characters...Ayn Rand's lead female characters are always powerful women.

I've also heard that there is a fourth Larsson book that is being fought over by his family and his significant other, so if that is EVER sorted out, then you may have another Larsson to read, for what it is worth...

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On squirreling away books and Ayn Rand ...

While we're on the topic of Ayn Rand, check out "We the Living", a story about the Russian revolution which brings to life another strong Rand woman (no, not Bond woman). Beverly I confess to a similar habit as your friend, albeit less ambitious. If I have a stack of, say, 10 or 12 new books by my desk, all is well with the world, that and a full woodshed and enough quarters to waylay the parking meter man for one more day.

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Oh, I did, I have, years

Oh, I did, I have, years ago, read Rand, but I don't think I cared for her politics, the Man and Superman thing, though this is an old memory still lodged in a corner of my brain (which returns when I read Yeats's glorification of Great Houses and such), so maybe I'm unfair to Rand. Much prefer Larsson's politics and rage. Very good distraction from an emotional upset. A full woodshed sounds great.  Thanks for your comments.