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John le Carre Squared

I can’t remember how I discovered that my father liked one of my favourite contemporary authors, John le Carré, as much as I did. But I do recall that it was after reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy for the third time.

Le Carré’s spy thrillers have been a constant in my life. After my dad passed away in 2011, I stopped reading him. But up until that point I owned all of the author’s books, reading all of the ones in my possession more than once. I have lost count of the number of time I’ve reread “Tinker, Tailor.”

So it should have come as no surprise to me that, after inheriting a large portion of my father’s library, that I should now have John le Carré squared. Of course, there were none of the author’s later releases due to the fact that dad could no longer read books as he once had. But when I unpacked the boxes from Winnipeg, the Le Carrés took up double the space. It seemed wrong to get rid of them; as if I was disposing of a father rather than duplicate titles. (Irrational, I know). That was in 2011, and they have been there ever since.

Dusting the bookshelves earlier today, I made an executive decision about John le Carré and his merry band of doubles. My dad’s books were hardcovers, so it was easy for me to keep those ones and donate the paperbacks.  Of the two duplicate hardback titles, I kept my father’s copies of The Little Drummer Girl (mine was in very bad shape) and Single & Single (while in good shape, the cover was sticky even after removing the book jacket).

I have weeded the shelves and ferried the doubles down to our laundry room where we put freebies to be adopted. I trust my John le Carré spy thrillers have gone to good homes.

And yes, for any mathematicians out there who are tempted to email me, I do know the difference between 2x and x squared, but I couldn’t resist the play on words.


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