Anna’s Curse

 
I’m crazy for books. Always have been. They carried me through a childhood absent of Zoloft, a marriage short on success, and more bad haircuts than I care to recall. I coped with none of these well, but here I am, still breathing. Without books to pull me through, I probably would have ended up pumping gas, sans an ability to pump gas, scraping pennies together for my next latte. (Okay, that’s my life now, sans the pumping. But you know what I mean.)   
 
At one point, I accumulated more books than I could accommodate, forcing me to sell “Anna Karenina” back to my local used bookstore. How this pained me! Despite my torturous, if periodic, boredom, I’d battled through Anna’s interminable pages just to know, in the depths of my puny soul, that I’d done it. Because, damnit, I had. (For the record, I have no interest in the lives of Russian farmers. Nor will I ever). 
 
“Anna Karenina” was heavy and thick; it had presided prominently at the center of my centerpiece bookcase. It had announced, in its own quiet way, that I’d persevered through its pages to unimpeachable triumph. I wanted that book there. I needed it there. But in time, my choice was either displaying it for the sake of pride or letting it go, to let new life in.
 
Ambivalent, I chose to let new life in. 
 
Witness to my ongoing literary turmoil, my friend Albert, an engineer, gave me a bookcase he no longer needed. On a Saturday afternoon, he hoisted it into my apartment and set it against the wall beside my bed. I was thrilled. At last, room for more books!
 
I wish my tale ended there. But alas, it does not. Along with the bookcase, Albert brought a digital camera (and tripod, of course. That’s just him) to take pictures of me for my Match.com. profile. He took a few of me in the kitchen. Too blue. A few in the living room. Better, but a bit too dark. Finally we ventured into the bedroom. I propped myself up against a few pillows and smiled widely into the lens. And in these shots, all was pleasing to the eye. It seemed we’d finally found success.
 
Not until viewing the photos later did I notice it. Despite my numerous and enthusiastic claims to be an avid reader in my Match profile, I was positioned before a totally bare bookcase.
 
A totally bare bookcase.
 
I knew there was a simple fix to this. After all, there’s little in the physical world that an engineer with a tripod can’t manipulate to meet his ends. Either I, or the bookcase, would be cropped out. Regardless which, the lighting would be superb.
 
I told myself I could live with this. I’d have my beloved books, and most likely a boyfriend who derived his sustenance through reality TV. Provided he was cute, with decent hygeine, we just might have a chance.    
 
 
 
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19 thoughts on “Anna’s Curse

    1. I have issues, I know. But the feeling of actual pages in my hand…how can I let that go? If it came down to space for (substitute the particular: dishes, furniture, toilet paper…) it would be tough going. Thanks so much for your comment.

  1. I share your love for books. I have given away more books that libraries have sold in their used book sales. I don’t hoard other things but books just seem to multiply around here. Hubby bought me an e-reader thinking that would help. Still I like the actuall book in my hand. I truly don’t think a house can have too many bookcases. Good luck with the Match.com. I am sure your pictures look great.

    1. Cheryl, I’m curious whether you can give away books that you love. If so, you’re a better woman than I. I lend them, often don’t get them back, then scour yard sales to replace them. For me, it’s almost a sickness. And actually, I actually met a great man through Match who happens to be an editor. Thanks so much for your comment and your encouragement.

  2. I have a hard time getting rid of books. Every time we move, I donate a box or two and as soon as I’m settled in the new place, I find myself wishing I had at least one of the books back. Sigh.

    1. I so relate to that. Hang on to a book: where to put it now? Let it go: but I miss it! I’m just old enough to see it as a blessing rather than a curse. Thanks for your thoughts.

    1. Thelma, I’m SO laughing right now. The train does ring bells with me. It’s just the details of Russian farming…it’s either my lack of maturity or inability to raise a plant. I’m so glad you stopped by.

  3. I, like you, have had to give coveted books away. Before I made this last move, I hauled 400 of my favorites to the local library. They were thrilled…and I was devastated. Although we currently live in a small place, I still look at wall space with a limited architectural eye and pray that my growing number of books will find solace in a shelf, or the very least, a place to shine. I would give away a Kardashian diamond for Anna and those Russian farmers! Thanks for your wonderful bog!

    1. Annie, it’s great to hear from another hard core book lover. I feel your pain about the library! My dream is to live somewhere with in-laid (if that’s the word) bookcases. I’ve just begun playing with Stumble Upon and have found magnificent pictures of book collections. Ah, to wish…..thanks so much for your comment.

  4. totsy, nope–i don’t have one either.

    i don’t know…a man with a penchant for reality tv doesn’t seem desirable to me. I think I’d consider getting cropped out instead.

    Love Anna Karenina. Irina Reyn wrote a novel called What Happened to Anna K about a Russian American immigrant. Sort of reworking the old into the new and it was quite good.

      1. This looks like a blog I can really get into. LOVE the Blog Title and description.

        Anna K was a wonderful read, but there were some who claimed Tolstoy was turning in his grave. Considering Jane Austen is still in her coffin after the zombie reworkings, I think we’ll be just fine. 🙂

        1. Thank you so much for your compliments. I do wonder if I read Anna again (I read it years back) if I would appreciate it more. But that would compromise the post. And you make a good point about Jane.

  5. Incidentally, I forgot to mention I loved Anna so much, I named my youngest daughter after her. And I have an Emma too, after the other great novel.

    Not that I want them to be anything like those heroines; it’s more of a cautionary tale and a nod to the literary greats.

  6. June, I loved this post. One, because I can relate to feeling actual physical pain if I have to give away books, and two because I could just imagine the photo in front of the empty bookcase! How fantastic! It made for quite the evening giggle! When I last moved here, I had to leave most of my books behind. I had tears in my eyes as I closed the crates that would store them back at my old family home. They’re like old friends who have seen you at your worst and still love you.

  7. I cannot bring myself to get rid of books. I have little time to read and yet I keep accumulating books. I have stacks all over as there’s not enough room in my bookcases. Yikes. How’s it going with match.com?

    1. I relate, Monica. So little time to read, but books everywhere! I’d like to say they spawn when I turn my back, but it’s me. I keep bringing them home. I can’t seem to help myself. As for Match, I haven’t done it in awhile. I hope you’re enjoying your holiday.

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