Monday, February 14, 2011

The Golden Years

Oh, the ways in which I can procrastinate are many and varied. I should be writing, and if not writing, grading papers, but instead I am packing. (We are moving.) And instead of packing, I am googling Philip Gibbs.

He was, apparently, the author of over thirty books, and, in his day, a famous WWI journalist. For some mysterious reason, I have a novel by him called The Golden Years on my bookshelf. The spine is cracked and the pages are yellow and the cover is a rather unattractive plum color. I am trying to decide whether to keep it or throw it out.

The first line is promising: "It seems incredible that I should know a lady who once danced with the Emporer Napolean ..." The last line is coy: "Did you say two lumps of sugar, my dear?"

I'm never going to read this book and I guess I'm never going to get rid of it. If it were more contemporary and in better shape, I would donate it to the library--but they will, I think, throw it out. (Too much like calling the Humane Society about a stray cat.)

However forgettable, I'm sure it took Mr. Gibbs a sizable chunk of time to write this book. And, while writing a book myself--one that is probably forgettable and certainly time-consuming--it just doesn't seem right to heartlessly toss his away.

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