I'm bingeing on Amazon. There are these two very tall, very empty bookshelves in my basement demanding to be filled. I've sorted the one's I've got into "methods" books (which, because I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life, range from Game Theory for Applied Economists to Python for Dummies); books on Chinese history; books in Chinese (one of the boxes I shipped from Beijing arrived in Cambridge empty, with a large gaping hole on the side, so this consists of just three titles I picked up at the Wenzhou airport that claim to explain why the people of Wenzhou are particularly adept at making money, and how you can, too); my three favorite books on African politics; everything you need to teach yourself French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese; and a political theory shelf, with Kant and Rousseau I may never open, but feel smarter simply for owning.
Then there are all those books from my former life: novels, travelogue, Joan Didion essays, the John McPhee collection I thought I'd find inspiring, but realized isn't really "me", the piles and piles of fat journals with fraying edges, gathering dust. I love Cambridge, but to love Cambridge is to live wholly in your head. I'm getting fat. I'm starting to get itchy feet. Do you think life is long enough for everything to fit?