Saturday, May 31, 2014

Books you can't pick up.

This morning I was laying in bed, trying to decide whether to get up or not, I saw a book on the shelf next to the bed.

There are plenty of books there, and I'm pretty familiar with them. Things I'm in the process of reading, things I'm meaning to get to, a little collection of books by Baker Street Babes that I haven't figured out where to put in the library yet. But then there was one book . . . one little book . . . that I had no idea what it was.

I picked it up and then remembered: "Oh, yeah. THAT book."

It was a novel featuring some relative of Sherlock Holmes that I picked up many, many months ago

Separately or as one, the stories of Sherlock Holmes are books that I've picked up more than any other, by far. The only book that comes close in William Goldman's The Princess Bride, which I own many copies of, and that still only gets touched a fraction of the times Sherlock does. I'll be picking up Sherlock in one form or another again today to continue my summer reading.

And yet this morning, the relative-of-Sherlock book I picked up struck me as a curiosity. I had started reading it when I bought it, got a few chapters in, and totally lost interest. Not only lost interest, but forgot it existed. It wasn't one of those "Oh, I should get to that some day," or "Oh, I need to finish reading that."

It was practically "What is this book even doing on my shelf?"

The answer, of course, is obvious. It had Sherlock Holmes's name on the cover.

So now I have to figure out what to do with it before I forget about it all over again. Donate to a book sale, toss into some part of the library that's just a miscellaneous Sherlock holding area for historical reference that such a thing existed, or what?

As much as some folks have disagreed with my treatment of CBS's Elementary over the last couple of years, there is a fate much worse than an active and energetic hatred of a "Sherlockian" entertainment: the fate of being unfinished and forgotten. Nobody wants their creative work to make no impact, and a negative reaction is still a reaction.

I feel bad for a book that you just can't pick up, except as a solid object that needs dealing with and moved out of the way. But it is what it is. Life is too short to waste on those things not worth remembering, even if Sherlock Holmes's name is on the cover.

1 comment:

  1. I use a star rating on my (yes) index card catalogue. A book of that nature would be a one-star with an asterisk - not read through - or perhaps - not worth reading.