Sunday, 9 October 2016

One in, one out - Part II

Sometimes (most of the times, actually) movies shouldn't have a sequel: you start well, with a fairly decent movie, with normally a baddie that is more interesting than the main character and then you find yourself, 20-30 years down the line starring in a movie with some silly title like "It's too hard to die, so I'll settle for some Vodafone ads, thank you".

Without having to wait 20 years, I can report about the state of my minimalist approach to the book shelves.
The project is still ongoing, even though I wonder why, given I'm the best and worse sabotateur of my own plans.

Just like any sequel movies, the beginning of chapter 2 starts in a presumably unconsequential way: grey sky, rain drizzling down gently, our heroine is in Vienna. Life goes on as usual, and I've used a business trip as a valid excuse to try out Sacher Torte at the Sacher Hotel and visit a beautiful exhibition at Albertina on Pointillism.
The exhibition is so beautiful, that after thinking over it for a day, I’ve decided to head back to Albertina and buy the catalogue of the exhibition. Damn. It’s heavy.

Culture weighs tons. But the book is so nice, that I decide that yes, sod it, I want it, I’ll buy it.
Any sense of guilt of adding up to my collection is soothed by the notion that, before leaving home, I had already prepared a bag with 7 books to be sold. Seven books to be sold minus 1 book I was about to buy equals 6 books allowance.

I sold them yesterday: 7 books equals 16 euro.
I felt pleased with myself. "See Virgi? It's not so hard, is it?"
I felt relaxed: 7 books out, equals 16 euro and a +6 books in tolerance. I reasoned that with some well aimed lending from my sister's bookcase, 6 could be the right number to get until Christmas.

I was thinking all of this, walking in the city center, enjoying the sunshine when catastrophe hit. The main shopping street of Torino was full of book stands. I somehow forgot that Portici di Carta was planned for this weekend.

It’s an event where bookshops put stands under the colonnade of one of the main street of the city center. New books, used books, antique books. Basically a strip of temptations leading me to perdition and to the metro station.

“I can do it, I can do it. These are old new books, I can buy them in bookshops as well, no point in getting them here”. The first 200 meters were easy, but then the used books sections started and…

And I happened to see a 1937 edition of short stories by Stefan Zweig, hailed by the editor as the most interesting voice coming from the German speaking areas of Europe. It’s a bit surreal, thinking that in a couple of years things would take a turn for the worse in Austria and probably by then Zweig’s volume had already disappeared from Italian shelves, given the ’38 racial laws that were put in place by Italy.

It was just 5 euro, how could I leave it there? I didn’t obviously.
7 books minus 2 books equals 5 books and 11 euro. That’s ok, I reassured myself, just keep walking.
The end. 
nd credits roll. People leave the cinema commenting on the poorness of the sequel.
In doing so, however, they miss the bonus scene in the middle of the credits.

I knew it was going to happen. I knew that my will is as strong as a melting ice-cream, but did that stop me? No! 
7 books in the end equals to 1 book allowance and a -2 euro final balance. 

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