Saturday, 27 August 2011


Its 5.30am and I've been awake for an hour and a half listening to the rain and pouring over the books stacked on my downstairs shelves. I was looking for a light and easy to read mystery and settled on an old 1950s early John D MacDonald - "Clemmie" (and yes that's the cover from my version). Its wonderful to be able to walk in and wander through the the shelves (mostly alphabetical) and make a choice from the several thousand books stored there. Yes I have read most over the past 40 years since I started collecting, but on every shelf there are always one or two that are sitting waiting and have yet to be savoured like Clemmie. There are also old favourites like MacDonald's Cape Fear (My version has the original title The Executioners); Slam the Big Door and his entire Travis McGee books. And thats just the two shelves burgeoning with John D Mc. All the MacDonalds are worth reading and I've also got the full works by both Ross and Gregory, including some of the more difficult to find books that are rarer in Australia. 

The lovely thing about a library is that's always in a state of flux and change as books revolve and exit the stage to allow new entries or old friends returning to occupy the shelves. Unfortunately my efforts are quite plain and humble in comparison to a library I was recently looking at : The Abbey Library of Saint Gall, St. Gallen, Switzerland. It is the oldest library in Switzerland, and one of earliest and most important monastic libraries in the world and although I have several shelves of theology that possibly even duplicate the abbey's in some small way, I'm sure this library would put mine to shame. It is nice to dream though and at 5.00 in the morning I'm grateful for the choices on offer just a few short steps away from insomnia.
Burn brightly, Pete.

No comments:

Post a Comment