Not The Target Market

Not Today’s Bestseller List

A severely edited book collection

Something I’ve been wondering about:   What if I promise to write a (weekly) series here on books.  Will this promise poke and prod me to post more to avoid embarrassment?  I honestly don’t know the answer to this.  I’m pretty good at ignoring what seems like a lot of work.  I vividly remember being appalled in freshmen college lit at the 3 essays a week requirement.  I couldn’t imagine anyone once free of that lit class requirement, actually signing up for something that required even a single weekly essay – like, say, a priest with a Sunday homily.

My views have mellowed a bit since then, but a promised weekly output of my own?  In theory it’s doable, and it even sounds like fun.  In reality I know as soon as I promise, I’ll find people tapping me on the shoulder saying remember when you said you would do this for me?  Or I hate to ask, but could you manage this?  Or the porch will need painting.  Or I’ll decide to throw a party.  Or, something.  And the week will evaporate before I can even choose a book, much less refresh myself on why I like it so much.  I think it’s best to keep weekly in brackets and not overpromise.  Let’s just say I’ll try to add regular book reviews.

I do love to read, though, and I love to recommend books.  Once I had bookshelves in every room in the house.  For a long time, I only added to the shelves, and never subtracted a thing.  Then some years ago, when I had a number of rooms painted and I had to pack up all the books and move them temporarily to the cellar, I thought this is nuts.  All I did was sneeze (from the dust) and gasp (from the two flights to the cellar).  We are talking boxes and boxes here.  I never counted them, but I would guess there were between 50 and 60.  When it came time to unpack, I did a lot of editing.  And over the years, having learned my lesson, I’ve continued to be rather severe on what I keep.  I have to really love a book to give it a place now.

The books I intend to write about are the eclectic bunch that still remain on my bookshelves.  The shelves are heavy on memoirs and diaries, history and linguistics.  There is some fiction, mostly of the gentle kind, and a fair amount of theology – but the theology is what I would call “readable theology.” I think I have weeded out all the mass market beach reads.

I think I’ll call this series Not Today’s Bestseller List.

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