Thursday, May 17, 2012


Okay, I'm writing another post about books, but I just can't help it. I recently read a fun Agatha Christie called Postern of Fate, starring the married sleuthing duo Tommy and Tuppence Beresford. This installment, published in the early 1970s, finds them in their retirement years fixing up an old house in a small seaside village. The first chapter made me laugh. It is titled "Mainly Concerning Books," and, as in her way, Christie finds a way to talk about life's fundamental truths, in this case, regarding books.

Here are just a couple of selections:
"Books!" said Tuppence.
She produced the word rather with the effect of a bad-tempered explosion.
"What did you say?" said Tommy.
Tuppence looked across the room at him.
"I said 'books,'" she said.
"I see what you mean," said Thomas Beresford.
In front of Tuppence were three large packing cases. From each of them various books had been extracted. The larger part of them were still filled with books.
"It's incredible," said Tuppence.
"You mean the room they take up?"
"Are you trying to put them all on the shelves?"
"I don't know what I'm trying to do," said Tuppence. "That's the awkward part of it. One doesn't know ever, exactly, what one wants to do. Oh dear," she sighed.

"...I think if I could just finish this side of the room, just get the books in here..."
"Well, I'll help you," said Tommy.
He came over, tilted the case more so that the books fell out, gathered up armfuls of them and went to the shelves and shoved them in.
"I'm putting the same-sized ones together; it looks neater," he said.
"Oh, I don't call that sorting," said Tuppence.
"Sorting enough to get on with..."

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