My favorite batch

I always knew I would be a foster parent

Batch One
Batch One

Our bookish friend Aldrin recently asked people whether they’d be interested in his books. Knowing the type of books he hoards and getting one pile of them myself during his July giveaway, of course I was interested. I thought he’d be selling them or something, but no, he was letting them go.

He wants them to be adopted, and he picked me as one of the foster parents. So we ended up with some vague arrangement: I keep the books but he might borrow them. Which is one degree apart from giving the books away. A literary philantropist, indeed, but why?

That I refuse to answer because I fear I might tread on some personal details of his life. What I’d like to talk about now are the new kids that are under my care. Does that make my book shelf an orphanage now?

Yes, there's a Batch Two
Yes, there’s a Batch Two

Some of these books, I already have copies of them, but how can you ignore these? I have already read The Hours and The Road years ago, and I cannot bear thinking that they might be forsaken somewhere. Others I will be reading soon, like Revolutionary Road. One of them I am reading now, which I might rant about tomorrow.

And others, oh well, I don’t even know them, but I just filled my bag until all space was taken. I only took what was proportional to my body mass because I can’t risk dragging the books on my way to our book discussion of Jane Eyre (on Charlotte Bronte’s birthday, April 21) and breaking my bones with the sheer bulk of the books. I also picked some books that I am very keen on reading, and chances are I will not be returning them. Which are:

My favorite batch
My favorite batch
  • 84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff – I haven’t even properly read the blurb when our bookish friend Atty. Monique already borrowed it. I am intrigued by the title more than anything else. No. I am most intrigued by Aldrin’s description: Read this; it made me cry.
  • The Night Trilogy by Elie Wiesel – Another of those Holocaust and prison camp books. A possible book of the month for our book club as well, so I might as well get a copy soon.
  • Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot – Just because it’s by T. S. Eliot. Not that I am a fan or anything, but how can one let go of a T. S. Eliot book? I doubt thought that this will be placed on any giveaway pile if this were The Waste Land, no?
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan – Books 1 to 4, so I only have to buy Book 5. Books 2 and 4 were immediately borrowed by our bookish friend Alona and when she told people that she borrowed them from me, no one would believe her. Well, I could hardly believe myself for taking these books. Is this regression or something? I don’t think so. I am quite fond of Percy Jackson, mostly because I’ve seen the film adaptation of The Lightning Thief and was entertained by it.
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe – I already have a thrift edition of this, but I like this copy because of its jagged edges. What do you call those copies?

I remember, are parents supposed to have favorites? Well, if your kids are books, I suppose that’s okay.