Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Janus – Ann Beattie




I’d say over the past couple of years, I have done a pretty decent job of realizing that there are certain things in this world that I can live without.

I have desires for material objects and I have spent decent money acquiring those objects – and after those objects come into my possession - I realize that, the chase was better than the catch.

More often than not, those objects I chased after were books, and most recently, the books that would allow me to round out my collection of “The Best American Short Stories”.

I felt the books out in the world calling to me, begging me to add them to my collection.

When I started this reading project, the holes in my collection were large. I scoured ebay, Better World Books, Amazon and Thrift Books. I found volumes in every corner of the country. I waited patiently each paycheck to pull a little out to purchase the next volume on my target list.

I knew at some point that I would reach an end point to my collection…and when I did, when the last volume arrived in the mail, it stung.

My collection was beautiful yes…but it was complete.

Or was it?

There were years before 1978 that the BASS was published (under a different editor)…and those years began calling to me just as the books for my project did.

I work hard at not looking for these books.

They are out there, waiting to be purchased.

But as Beattie tells us – we can’t always have what we desire.

Knowing me – I’ll get those books – someday.

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