Getting Off the Library’s Pot

I have a stack of library books by my bed. Just seven titles, but enough to delay, indefinitely, any attempt at reading what I’ve purchased, scavenged, or been given.

Girls, it’s time to say goodbye; it’s for the best.

Nothing’s stopping us from meeting up again someday; we’ll always have my lending history.

  • Bright, Susie. Big Sex Little Death.
  • Comella, Lynn. Vibrator Nation.
  • Danesi, Marcel. From Flappers to Rappers.
  • Grosz,Elizabeth. Chaos, Territory, Art.
  • Khakpour, Porochista. Sons and Other Flammable Objects.
  • Norton, Peter D. Fighting Traffic.
  • Steele, Valerie. Fetish.

Despite being entitled to semester-long “term” loans (as both a library staff member and a graduate student), I always feel compelled to read library books first. Yet I can thoughtlessly delay (for years– even a decade) touching books I’ve spent money on.

Is that what they call an external motivator? Am I using this project as an internal / external transformer? So be it.

Bookshelves as Shackles

Every blog I’ve ever created has ended up being about books, so I might as well accept the inevitable.

Yes, I want to talk about what I’m reading. But more than that, I want to deliver a PSA: get rid of your books.

I work as a library manager, so believe me when I say this:

Books are just copies.

And copies are just stuff.

And stuff just takes up space.

Be free!

“But, but, but!” you say?

I’m not the boss of you; do what you want. But my two cents is this: a lot of books aren’t worth beginning, let alone finishing, and fewer still are worth keeping in what little space most of us have for precious objects and mementos.

They’re horrid to move. They absorb smells. They attract dust. They seduce us into thinking they’re special snowflakes despite being mass produced. Does this sound like a person you’d put up with for any length of time? A house guest you’d let stay forever? So why lower the bar for 300 pages of bleached pulp?

Leave book accumulation to the professionals who actually have the climate control and human capital to make it work: the staff of book shops and libraries.

Let books into your life, but be sure to let them out again.

Be free!

The nasty but unavoidable truth.

The nasty but unavoidable truth is that political outrage and the good old-fashioned desire to punish “bad” women are not disconnected. That field for one has been fertilized (or, if you prefer, salted) by the other. Complex, deep, and necessary critiqes– like the feminist critique of mainstream beauty standards, in Jenner’s or Beyonce’s case, or the anti-racist critique of [Miley] Cyrus’s appropriation of black aesthetics and the industry’s simultaneous dismissal of black artists (Nicki Minaj wound up having to make a few)– are appropriated and imitated by the mainstream to rationalize our culture’s underlying pattern of demolishing sexually unruly women. (34)

From Sady Doyle’s Trainwreck.