Whenever I visit someone I look at their books,
and the fact that I do this probably
tells you something
His are imprisoned behind glass doors in an ornately carved,
the light reflects ghostly readers on its limpid panes.
It has a key. HA!
So, these books are, at least to some extent, for show.
If you really enjoy reading you keep your books accessible and
they sneak off their shelves to lie besides chairs
and into dense little piles of paragraphs.
I scan the spines and I see some familiar titles,
he has all the usual Booker and Pulitzer
but, oddly, he rarely
has more than a single book by a given author,
whereas, when I find a writer I like,
I tend to compulsively acquire their
Later, coming out of the bathroom, I can't resist peeking into his study
where I see shelf after shelf of science fiction and fantasy
-- books whose covers announce they are 'comparable to Tolkien at his best'
outnumbering by ten to one the books downstairs.
Here are his real favourites: Heinlein,
Moorcock, and (with surprisingly good taste) Le Guin.
I try to imagine him reading the two sorts of book he has. Downstairs,
he will be perched on one of his murderous chairs
watching himself reading
some important novel, enjoying
the warm literary feeling, if not the book.
Upstairs, he will be lying in bed at 3am, he will
not realise that he has one hand covering his lazy eye and the
blurred words will dance on the final page.