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These are books I don’t mind watching me sleep — a creepy bar met by the likes of Katherine Mansfield, Russell Banks, Edna Ferber, Don De Lillo and Joy Williams.
MIT Press began publishing journals in 1970 with the first volumes of Linguistic Inquiry and the Journal of Interdisciplinary History.
Today we publish over 30 titles in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and science and technology.
In recent years, there’s been a rejection of the stodgy old alphabet in favor of organizational principles driven by color, size and genre. Aesthetics in literature are important, but literature as aesthetics makes me nervous.
When did a candle-topped pyramid of paperbacks become a symbol of depth?
And, in my case, each book’s placement corresponds not just to when I read it and how I felt, but to whatever activity takes place beneath it now.
They are thus animated in a way they might not be otherwise.Imagine if I told you to place all of your hard objects in the bedroom and all of your soft objects in the bathroom. Which is why my library is what I call a “sentimental library.” A sentimental library is characterized by memory and association.It’s the halfway point between alphabetical and aesthetic.If you line up your novels in rainbow order but don’t Instagram them, were they ever really there?Before the 16th century, books weren’t even shelved with their spines out. To me, arranging books solely by size makes sense only if you are a collector of art monographs.The books above my sofa relax me on sight, or else they remind me of some pleasant time during which I acquired them.Donna Tartt, John Cheever, Colum Mc Cann, Curtis Sittenfeld, Isaac Babel (listen, some people are relaxed by Isaac Babel).Here are essay collections by David Sedaris, Joan Didion, Ian Frazier, Jenny Diski and Nora Ephron.Here is fiction by Lorrie Moore, George Saunders and Richard Yates.Like it or not, I am in constant, real-time conversation with their contents.The ledge above my desk is home to spirit animals (keeping in mind that selecting an arctic fox as one’s spirit animal does not make one an arctic fox).