Monday, July 21, 2008
It's a good thing they don't weigh carry-on luggage
I never anticipated how difficult trying to decide what books to pack for an entire year would be. I even planned this out several months ago, but it's still hard. The books that I specifically need to take in order to study my comprehensive lists, or for my online Science Fiction as Literature course are simple. It's the "extra" books that are ripping my heart out. Here is a list of painful questions I had to ask myself this morning:
1. How necessary is the red book of John Cheever stories?
2. Can I somehow wedge the complete short stories of Flannery O'Conner in there?
3. What if I get halfway through the year and I'm really depressed and don't have any Richard Hugo poetry?
4. Is it better to take the complete works of H.D. (which weighs a lot) or only to take Trilogy? What if I start reading Trilogy and then NEED the rest of the poems?
5. Should I take the books of poetry I love the most, that I reread constantly, or should I focus on taking books of poetry that are new to me?
6. What's better; books that you can learn things from (in terms of craft) or books that will comfort you?
7. Anthologies, or a select group of complete books? If I take anthologies, I might have a greater variety of things to read, but since I'm planning a book-length project of my own, learning how other writers have arranged items in a book--specifically the order they chose for their works--might teach me more.
Any advice from people who read this post would be greatly appreciated.