Why I need a 10-volume French Dictionary

The 10-volume dictionary is the Grand Larousse Encyclopédique, and its effect on my physical being, though not my mind, is mostly in my shoulders, which still have a tinge this Saturday morning. On Thursday I carried the volumes from the Kent State University Library circulation desk to the parking lot. These 10 volumes, formerly the library’s second copy, were purchased at the low, low price of $0.50 per volume, $5.00 for the set.

Maybe my purpose is the save the university library from its folly, by purchasing every book it throws out so that I can return them when I retire. I envy Sisyphus. Perhaps they are merely to decorate my bookshelves. The spines of ten 1000-page reference works are a delight: just by the stateliness of their leather binding the bookshelves seem to rise to the status of a personal library. So I need them, I suppose, because I have the collector’s obsession for books. It’s an investment: I’ll sell them. No, I won’t. Maybe I want these books to be the envy of a professor of French that I encounter some day. Oh, I know, it’s so I can read Montaigne with greater pleasure. If every rationalization fails, I always have Lear’s: “Reason not the need….”

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