Friday, March 16, 2018
Literature and Bart Simpson
I found myself walking behind this guy on my way home from work yesterday. People make the strangest fashion choices.
I'm enjoying my alone time at home with the dog. It would be better if the house weren't still a wreck, but the painters are making progress. The kitchen is mostly done, the bathroom needs one more coat, the entrance hall is mostly done except for all the trim, and the living room is done. So now it's just a matter of the small hallway in the middle of the house, plus that trim and the extra coat in the bathroom. I think they may finish up today.
I haven't tried to put anything back in order. I'll wait until they're done with everything and then do it all at once.
One unfortunate side effect of the bright new paint -- it makes the kitchen cabinets look terrible. I need to do some serious cleaning in that kitchen.
Meanwhile, as I said yesterday, Olga and I are living in the midst of a garage sale, with everything crowded into the two rooms that are not being painted:
I'm not complaining. The place will look so much better when this is all done.
The magazine people finally came and collected all our donated magazines from the library, and I worked yesterday to weed more of the fiction shelves. So here's a question -- Samuel Richardson, the 18th century novelist, penned two multi-volume works, one called "Pamela" (2 volumes) and one called "Clarissa" (4 volumes). We have both, and neither has been checked out for about 15 years. Do you think it would be library heresy to take "Clarissa" off the shelves and just leave "Pamela," which is the better-known work? Are we obligated, as a library, to make all the classics available, or is it better to free up shelf space for books that are going to be more actively read?
I faced the same question with "The Mysteries of Udolfo," a classic gothic novel I hadn't heard of at all. We have a copy but it's never been checked out. Apparently it was influential to Jane Austen (whose novels do get read) but do we really need it?
I know this probably sounds horrible, given that we are a school library, but the reality is, shelf space is valuable and most of our reading patrons are middle schoolers. (The high schoolers check out far fewer books.) As I write this and think more about it, I'm leaning toward keeping them as foundational works of literature, but it's an interesting question.