The eighty degree days of the weekend gave way to forty degrees with rain this week.
The first two of four boxes of the large chess book order came in, leaving me sorting out "to keep", "to sell", and "to give away". I read Burgess' book on the Slav Defense, which will prove useful to me. I ate last night at Yammi Bowl, which I thought would be a cool big bowl place, but turned out to be a rather ordinary Cantonese fast food place. I've got my CD back up for sale on eBay, where it will soon be joined by the chess booklet.
One of the chess books I received in the boxes is a copy of the 1972 Chess Digest publication of The Reti System. As so many of the earlier Chess Digest books did, it seeks to set out in a thirty six page chapbook an entire opening strategy. This is the kind of book that I think should be written--about anything. You can summarize almost any life's strategy in thirty six pages. That's the attraction but also the problem with words. Take the Bible. I always like The Bible in Basic English, the translation of the Bible into the truncated 1,000 word vocabulary academic language called Basic English. Why does it need to be a dove that descends and a place where eagles gather, when it can all be rendered as "bird"?
I thought to myself how in an ideal world my permanent book collection would have four shelves of chess books, four shelves of cactus books, and an atlas. The novels could all be used paperbacks and library books, never to be parked permanently on the shelves. I have thousands of books now, most of which I will not read again. I should take them to Good Will or a library for the used book sale, but inertia keeps me from doing it. Will another person love the books as much as I do? Will the people to whom I give the books understand how important they were to me? I tried to freecycle books once, offering them to all and sundry if only someone would pick them up. Nobody took my books. Everyone combs the freecycle hunting for a Winnebago, not something to read. I've been liberated from freecycle ever since the local regional freecycle host abruptly ceased running it some months ago. I have not missed it--it was frustrating when people would not come to get what they agreed to take, or when they would not answer e mails which offered them the things they wrote to ask for.
Maybe it would be fun to sell my entire library (but for chess, cactus and an atlas) on eBay on a "You pick it up" basis. When people pay for things, they tend to follow up on things. But they don't follow up on free things. Folks are funny.