The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

28 April 2010


I think I would be hopeless at triage, whether as a nurse in an emergency room, out on the field of battle, or selecting survivors from a sinking ship when there are not enough lifeboats.

I know this because I am in agonies over which of my books get to come out of their box in the basement, and which have to stay behind in that dark and musty room. I imagine that those I bring upstairs and arrange carefully on the bookshelf gleefully lean against each other, congratulating themselves that they made the cut, after anxiously calling for their friends to see who else has been rescued.

Some are easy: Austen, Forster, Wilde, Waugh, Heyer, Sayers, Tolkien and MacInnes ought to be close to hand, because I frequently dip into them. Poetry and some reference works, too. The most recent additions are here - Major Pettigrew, The Zookeeper's wife, and the Potato Peel Pie Society - I couldn't bring myself to toss them into a dark box with a bunch of other books they don't yet know. I'm not that cruel.

But as for the others, what of them? How do I choose one over an other? Do I unpack Robert Ludlum but leave Frederick Forsyth? Do I leave both The Little Prince and The Little Princess, or is it ok to leave only one? Which one? I have the book on Vermeer but decided against Monet. I feel entirely heartless that I left Jamie and Claire sealed up in a box, and am a little concerned for one or two others that I haven't yet come across. I hope they're alright.

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