[BHE Sunday]: Classics, Poetry, and A little bit of Everything


Iphigene here.

I have entered book stores and come out of them empty handed for quite some time now. There is no need for book buying diets as the urge to accumulate books no longer exist. What used to be a compulsion that has made me ever willingly carry the label bibliophile over the years has been replaced by the art of curating.

Curate [n. kyoo r-it; v. kyoo-reyt, kyoo r-eyt] [n. kyoo r-it; v. kyoo-reyt, kyoo r-eyt] -to pull toge-ther, sift through, and select for presentation, as music or website content

The difference in subtle, the difference between the bibliophile and the curator lies in the purpose. The bibliophile in me goes to a book store, scans through its shelves and waits for a book I can buy. The curator goes to a book store in search of a specific book, title or collection.

These subtle change came from my desire to re-educate myself in classics, poetry and literary fiction. I missed reading classics or books that challenge not only my opinions, but my command of my second language as well as my ability to understand the nuances of a novel. I miss the combination of study and leisure that reading provides.

These days, it takes time for me to accumulate books. I do so, slowly. When a title in a book store attracts me, I take note of it, go home and research about it. These days, I find myself re-visiting those books I never dared to read—books that seem too big, too complex and just way over my head. Now, I tackle them with curiosity. The curator in me now seeks books to add to my library, obscure stories from a favorite author, literature I have been curious about but too intimidated to read, and books that feed my soul more than just my curiosity.

My BHE post for today is a reflection of that attempt to transition from a book hoarder (bibliophile) to a curator. Compulsion or Impulse has been replaced by thoughtful deliberation. Each book I have here was bought at different times and through a couple of month.

  1. Lady Susan by Jane Austen: A lesser known story about a Coquette. I love Jane Austen. I buy any story they publish of hers.
  2. Mindfulness & The Art of Anger Management by Mike Fisher: I’m a psychologist. I have a lot of angry patients.
  3. On Solitude by Michel de Montaigne: His the father of the Modern Day Essay. Alain de Botton loves him as an essayist. I love Alain de Botton.
  4. Beauty by Robin McKinley: I needed a fairy tale re-telling. This was one. I was happy with it.
  5. Utopia by Thomas More: Before dystopian novels, there was utopia. Need I explain?
  6. The Many Woods of Grief by Lucas Farrell: I’m always looking out for poets I haven’t read.
  7. Risking Everything by Rodger Housden: 101 Poems on Love and Revelation. Mary Oliver. Poetry. No further explanation should be needed.
  8. Literary Essay by Sarte: Because its Sarte.
  9. Poem Making by Myra Cohn Livingston: I wanted to exercise some poetic muscle.
  10. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: I heard really good reviews of this book for quite some time now. I wanted to try it out.
  11. Colm Toibin: I have heard a lot about this author, never read his work but this collection of short stories seems a lovely way to start.

Are you a hoarder or a curator? What books have you recently purchased? Have you read any of the books on today’s post? 

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