In “Unpacking My Library,” the German literary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin itemizes his collection as each piece makes the journey from box to shelf. More than anything, the essay provides a portrait of Benjamin more than it does of his book collection.
I often thought of doing the same for myself–especially since my book collection is in transition from a life in academia to one outside its bounds.
Instead, I’ll just stick with the three magazines that sit on my desk, litter the bedroom floor and occupy my day bag.
- Airline magazines, because I cannot help but take them every time I fly. They’re a fascinating and immediate study in what people read on the go, and what writers and editors think people on the go are reading.
- Boston Magazine, because what better way (other than going outside) to learn about my home than to read others’ writing about it.
- Texas Monthly, because Texas.
This has become my new morning routine. If not that, my life routine. And now the delivery of the latter two has synced, so I’ve got two new issues to comb through during today’s commutes to and from work.