Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Books in the Cellar #1

In an effort to distract ourselves from the disturbing goings on (middle-of-the-night haranguing phone calls, threatening messages, some coherent and some not) in our otherwise bucolic lives, we present the following.

I think we need more structure around here. Your faithful blogger clearly takes the ‘random’ rubric (see above) a little too seriously. So, in the interests of putting some structure into the coming year’s posts, in addition to bees and saints, I plan to expatiate on some of the literary treasures I have discovered and will surely discover upon the crammed bookshelves of the parental cellar.
These will include, but are most adamantly not limited to: tattered paperback lives of Cleopatra, one by Emil Ludwig, another by Rider Haggard; Just Folks by Edgar Guest; my father’s undergraduate thesis on the Cotton Waste Trade, circa 1946; The World’s Best Jokes, published 1936; Conversational Arabic, 1955; and countless editions of the Little Blue Books.
Most people I know have bookshelves in the usual places: living rooms, libraries, dining rooms, kitchens, linen closets, bathrooms & solaria. In addition to all the aforementioned, the cellar (my mother and I have debated whether hers is a cellar** or a basement*; nothing was resolved; feel free to weigh in) in my parents’ house contains a labyrinth of bookshelves. While my mother may, on a biannual basis, throw or give away torn underwear or broken crockery or a profoundly ugly knickknack, she has never thrown away a book and never will.
Because I have had so much pleasure perusing the treasures of the cellar bookshelves, it would be craven of me to do otherwise than applaud this dictum.
And since before my mother ever entered the abode in question, it was my father’s boyhood home, these cellar bookshelves contain high school texts featuring his mystified annotations as well as more recent (mid 20th century) tomes.

*basement =the floor of a building partly or entirely below ground level.

**cellar = a room below ground level in a house, typically one used for storing wine or coal.


Diggitt said...

If such a room were in a building in the southeast corner of northeast Ohio, it would be a cellar.

Or perhaps not. But that would be my vote.

Christine Lehner said...

My mother has slim acquaintance with Ohio, but she is in your camp.