Monday, January 25, 2010

True Confessions: The Library Lover

Read on to learn the Strange Preferences and Bent Attitudes of an amateur librarian . . .lurid! shocking! detailed!

True Confession no. 1: Withstanding the Wiles of Eve!
I have been at considerable pains to avoid reading Milton's Paradise Lost my whole, entire, life.

True Confession no. 2: The Matchmaker from Hell!
And aren't they All?  But I can never get very far into Jane Austen's Emma before I get embarrassed for her character's meddlesome snobbery and put the book down.

Confession no. 3. Gave Free Love--Got Searing Contempt!
Some hippie and beat authors are fantastic, but I despise Jack Kerouac. He lived on other people's hospitality and casually insulted them in his books.

Confession no. 4. Studly General Blackmailed!
One prize in my library is a two-volume set written by Harriette Wilson, the mistress of (among others) Arthur Wellesley, future Duke of Wellington. From this diary, you wonder how British government ever got out of the brothels and duelling fields long enough to fund a war against Napoleonic France.

Those clients that survived into old age were then blackmailed by Harriette for specific sums, depending on the nature and longevity of their relationship. If they paid up, she left them out of the memoir. (And still two volumes.) Wellington's wrote a  very short letter in reply that said  "Publish and be damned."

Confession no. 5.  True Love, But With Hundreds!
Poems I like I write out in longhand, in a leather-bound book I picked up on sale for two whole dollars. Writing them out in longhand helps me understand how they were crafted.

I have done this twice in my lifetime. The first book wore out after a good twenty years of consultation. Very few of the poems from the first book were left behind for the second one. I am their very true lover. But we are not exclusive . . . anybody else can love them too.

 Don't forget . . . True Confessions can be found in your local library!


Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the insights into your book experiences.

On your #5, despite only a few of the poems making it into journal #2, I would imagine that you still treasure them. Finding an old attempt at writing, hidden and forgotten somewhere in the house, is always a welcome sight for me.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
You are right. I still have the shards of that old book, with little pieces of masking tape and clippings I meant to enter into it, the cover i sewed for it . . .

Back in the day!
Ann T.

The Observer said...

Ann T

I was forced to read Jane Austin in college. I found her completely insufferable, from the plots of her novels to her overly flowery writing style. My favorite book in freshman English was "Heart of Darkness."

The Observer

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
We all have our favorites. What's really weird is that I love all her other books! Especially Persuasion. But many people consider her quite snippy. I do think she is wasted on a high school audience.

Heart of Darkness is wonderful.

Thanks for writing in! I love books! Big shock there, right?
Ann T.

Unknown said...

True Confession: I heart historical romances. Its not just the torrid smut, but the history of the era (thats usually researched) that I enjoy. I'm not a girly girl but I love to read about what the women wore and how they lived in the 14th, 15th and 1600's.

I read other stuff too.

Ann T. said...

Dear peedee,
I have quite a collection of romances. Most of mine are regencies, though not all. A lot of them are well-written and the research is staggeringly accurate sometimes.

Over 55% of the paperbacks sold in the U.S. are romance novels. You and I are not alone.

Thanks for confessing!
Ann T.