This weekend I’m going off to visit a friend in whose house there happen to be about 200-300 of my books, which I shipped there once while I went gallivanting off out of the country. I haven’t seen them for a couple of years now, and naturally have forgotten a lot of what’s there, so it will be a pleasure to be reunited with old acquaintances.
These are all books I collected about 10-15 years ago. My tastes haven’t changed much in that time: they will all be translations of foreign books, most of which have never been much heralded in this country. I do feel though, that the books circulating back then were a different set to now – a lot of them I don’t see any more in shops (even secondhand ones). I used to collect entire series: there is a whole shelf of those nice Harvill paperbacks they used to produce (the ones that were slightly larger than your normal paperbacks), and a lot of Quartet Encounters books.
A few, of course, I shall bring back with me; some of the roman fleuves, I think. I’d like to have to hand the second half of Andrea Giovene’s Sansavero, so I can set about reading it in its entirety; and the three volumes of Heimato von Doderer’s The Demons (now I’ve read Dostoevsky’s The Devils). And since I’ve finished The Leopard, I feel I should now read that other Italian one-off postumously-published classic, Salvatore Satta’s The Day of Judgement.