A lot of film books catching the bus this week

Book Purge Seventeen — October 9th 2016

Directing film books to the door

After last week’s century breaking record, a slight dip in the total today. I managed to select 88 books for the ejector shelf. Given that I am in the Lake District this weekend and so had only five days at home in which to select the books, I don’t think that’s too shabby a total.

As with last week, though, there are too many to show in one image. One above, two to follow.

The first contains a number of copies of the rather pretentious Projections ‘magazine’ that I started collecting — but barely reading — when I decided that I was going to make films. After the disaster of my time writing for a TV series, I attended a filming course in Soho and then wrote and directed a short film. As usual with me, I began collecting books related to film that I thought would help. Help my image, that is. Hence the Dennis Potter stuff, too. I was looking for excellence through osmosis. It didn’t work. The books have languished in the attic for many years. They can languish on other shelves henceforth.

Other books to note from the first photo: although I love John Irving, I’ve decided that I shall keep only Garb and Hotel New Hampshire. Others will go. I enjoyed Carol Drinkwater’s tales of buying a French olive farm and the trials of renovation and ensuring a harvest. But I don’t intend to buy a farm of my own so I doubt I shall need to re-read the books.

There’s little to say about this second pile because it is such a mixture. Fiction, for the most part. The small hardback edition of Graham Greene’s The Confidential Agent is going because I have a duplicate paperback that is in the more aesthetically pleasing early orange Penguin edition. A bunch of crime books that have given me pleasure in the past but to which I will not be returning.

And finally….

Another jumble of tastes and times. The Paul Auster is the book here that I have read most recently. The Malcolm Bradbury comes from around the time I went to university. The Paul Theroux is a duplicate and the O’Reilly books I no longer feel any need for.

There you go. 88 books.

When I first came to London in the early 80s, I was staying in Clapham in a shared house near Clapham South tube station. I had a job at a bookshop on Charing Cross Road and I would take the bus to work, especially if I was on a later shift at the bookshop. This was because I really wanted to be the man on the Clapham omnibus.

And the number of the bus that ploughed the route from Clapham to London’s West End? 88.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.