They are an unruly bunch, the books that live in the tower beside my bed - a motley crew and each one vying for occupancy of the Penthouse.
I have heard it said that the local Library refuses donations of any book published before 2005. My word, I wonder what next!!!
Down the street the Bargain Centre (sponsored by the Anglican and United Churches) has no such ridiculous policy. What a splendid array of books they have, and their publishing dates reach away back into the mists of time to almost the beginning of the last century.
Whilst volunteering at the Bargain Centre I get a wonderful chance to peruse the shelves, and in the last few months have brought home an illustrious list of authors.
Arnold Bennett's 'Riceyman Steps' published in 1925,
Josephine Tey's great mystery series, and in particular 'Man in the Queue' published in 1953,
'Memento Mori', - that wonderful novel by Muriel Spark in which the characters are all in their 70's and 80's. (It is said that she was the finest living Scottish novelist, but now that she is no longer with us I would pass that honour to Alexander McColl Smith). I am intriqued with her life
and her interpretation of truth as it applies to fiction. (http://www.galloway.1to1.org/Spark.html) - link is not working???
I brought home also, 'Instrument of Thy Peace' written by Alan Paton in 1968, - a reflection on the poem of the same name.
And 'The River' by Rumer Godden, published in 1946, as well as Joanna Trollope's 'girl from the south' ( 2002).
To read again, with great delight, 'A Hebridean Omnibus' by Lillian Beckwith (1976) and for reference and fun 'stitch and bitch' by Debbie Stoller, (2003).
Last but not least, 'The October Horse' by Colleen McCullough, that fine Australian novelist - a nice, long story about Caesar and Cleopatra to remind me of our continuing humanity.
You know that this constitutes months and months of reading, and I think that I shall start with 'Memento Mori' to ensure that all the elderly characters still inhabit the book by the time I am finished!
Life is short, Art is long,