Book Hoards

Hello Readers,

First of all, my apologies for the absence of a fluid friday post this week. I made an error and scheduled two posts for next friday and none for this week. For the last couple of weeks I have been putting my affairs in order. This is not because I expect to die, but because I am flying to the United Kingdom on the first of December and will not return for several months. There will be more information in the form of a new year’s audit and resolution soon. I have been feeling a little overwhelmed by preparation, and haven’t felt much like blogging as a consequence.

Most of the preparation is complete now, and I find myself staring at the enormous pile of books that I must organise before I leave. Some must come with me (and max out my weight quota), some must be boxed, and some must be shelved. I feel, as i’m sure many academics do, that these books have gathered and joined forces against me, forming a collective action that I must struggle to overcome (do I want to?). Like the hoarder and his or her tyrannical assemblage of stuff, a serious book collection without a nice collection of shelves (I have long since run out of those) is a wild and unruly force that resists our efforts to order it. This process reminded me of Jane Bennett’s wonderful essay Powers of the Hoard: Further Notes on Material Agency. Oh look, and there’s Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Ethics and Objects in the book pile conspiring with the other books against me! It isn’t paranoia if it’s true, right?…

Wish me luck! After knocking over a pile of penguin classics and finding my feet trapped under Anselm of Canterbury’s Proslogium, I think that i’ll need all the help I can get!

Best Wishes to you all,

James

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