Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Far Too Many Books


Philip went to his study to gather together the books and papers he would need. As usual, he wasted a great deal of time wondering which books to take on his journey. He had a neurotic fear of finding himself stranded in some foreign hotel or railway station with nothing to read, and in consequence always travelled with far too many books, most of which he brought home unread. Tonight, unable to decide between two late Trollope novels, he packed both, along with some poems by Seamus Heaney, a new biography of Keats and a translation of the Divine Comedy which he had been carrying around with him on almost every trip for the last thirty years without ever having made much progress in it.

From David Lodge, Small World: An Academic Romance (1984).

5 comments:

Sylvia said...

Once I went car-camping in the Rockies for a month and took an entire small suitcase full of books. I don't think I read a single one all the way through!

renee said...

It's nice to know that fictional characters have the same problems as us.

Stefanie said...

I have the same compulsion. I usually pack at least three books when I go visit my parents for a long weekend. And eventhough I know I am unlikely to read any of them, I agonize over each choice.

Kelly said...

Love "Small World" :)

Jen Robinson said...

Yeah, I have that problem when I'm packing, too. Not that I'm packing any Trollope. But should it be Shannon Hale or Avi, or both? Thanks for the quote.