Post-Zoo, et propter Zoo (wait, how do you decline apparently Greek nouns in Latin? should that be Zoon? oh, how truly do we say that a little learning is a dangerous thing), I have entered my newly acquired books into my relatively newly acquired spreadsheet.

Pause to thank the converter of a typed list’s contents into a spreadsheet; pause to consider my unbelievable wisdom in long-ago, pre-tenure days, in hiring a student to type up a list of all the books I owned at that time (fewer than now) so that subsequently I could simply add new ones a few at a time rather than contemplate the awfulness of recording them all . . . pause to threaten Basement Cat with mayhem if he continues to hassle the Grammarian.*

Where were we? It appears that even now I have fewer books than I think I do. The new additions bring the spreadsheet up to line 1031, which doesn’t seem like enough. I had probably better check the list against the actual shelves. Oh, gods, oh Ceiling Cat, what a chore. Maybe I’ll wait till we move. Maybe I’ll wait till making the check seems like a good procrastination device; at the moment, I think I’d rather write.

Anyway, that is one of my after-the-Zoo (no cases in the vernacular!) rituals, and I am pleased to have done it just three days after my return. It was easier than it is some years. I bought only eight books this year, a far cry from the four-sack feeding frenzy that afflicted me a few years ago.

No, The Alliterative Revival was not among them; why do you ask? Come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind a copy of it, though.

Since I had a stack of paleography projects to grade, I’ve started my summer by driving out to campus to sit in Rare Books and pore over manuscripts. Today I’m at home, trying to get some other tasks out of the way, and surprise surprise, it’s harder to settle when I’m not in the library. (There is no Basement Cat in the library, among other details.) But on the plus side, I did not get up at 5:00 today in order to fit in a trip to the gym before driving for an hour (or more, in the morning rush) in order to get to Rare Books when they open. I like mornings, but I’m not the sort of extreme morning person who thinks the day’s wasted if she’s not up by 4:30.

At times like this, I wish I lived closer to my office, though mostly I love living where I do. But I really have to do better with the days when I’m working from home. Coffee shops and more local libraries are both options. Clearing stacks of books, file folders, and miscellanea off my desk at home would probably also help. And I think I have to set hours in which no blog-reading is allowed. Possibly no Lexulous, either, as I can get very involved in trying to plan out moves and strategy.

I had a good Zoo this year, though I would have liked to shop around a bit more among sessions. Because I was involved with organizing a couple of sessions, which led to still further inter-sessionality, my schedule filled very fast; the papers I heard were mostly from big names or rising stars, and mostly very good, so in that sense I did very well: I did not have to sit through rough or plodding work, as sometimes happens, nor did any speaker I heard talkveryfastsoastodeliveranentirearticleintwentyorsominutes (though one had to do some off-the-cuff cutting). But hearing big names be brilliant does tend to activate my tendency to feel like chopped liver, whereas that tendency would be counteracted by thinking, “I could do so much better than that” during a dull or mistaken paper.

*Not up for online library things. Old-fashioned. Voted most likely to move to a compound in Idaho completely off the grid, in fact. Feeling particularly elderly and kids-off-my-lawn-ish today, I don’t know why. I’m happy with my spreadsheet, so go away.

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