OCD Meets the Library

How do you pick out a book from the library? Well, of course if you know what you want, you look for it. For that one. Or for anything by that particular writer. I once checked out an entire shelf of P.G. Wodehouse that way.

Through most of the 70's, I lived on a farm in Door County, WI, just south of the bridge that connects the Door's severed thumb to the rest of the state. The closest library was across the bridge in Sturgeon Bay. It was small, small enough for me to have visions of fulfilling a dream of mine. I wanted to read my way through a library. Starting with fiction. I made it through the A's. Luckily, the A's contain some familiar gems. You get all of Louisa May Alcott, for example, and Jane Austen. I dutifully read or re-read all of them. You probably have too.

But there were writers I'd never read, some I'd never heard of. I remember only three of them.

Chinua Achebe:

Kōbō Abe:

Bess Streeter Aldrich:

I loved Aldrich, I want to re-read Achebe, and I didn't understand Abe at all. But they were all adventures. They all took me someplace, somewhen, I had never been before. I kinda wish I'd lived there long enough for the B's.