B L O G M A S D A Y 9
Sometimes you get ideas.
And then sometimes this happens:
Here is my idea.
Move one of my bookshelves into the living room for communal book shelving display purposes (which would then have a nice ripple effect with a different piece of furniture) and then I’ll have more nice, minimalism space in my bedroom area.
There are more ripple effects I could go into that involve desks and closets, but my point is as a result of trying to condense my shelving in my room I have been thinking obsessively about personal book collections and my relationship with mine.
I’m starting to transition from being a book hoarder, to a non-book hoarder I think. I say this and I have filled my bookshelf up in my bedroom, my books have bled into the living room, I currently have a nice-sized book tree as a decoration, and I still have piles of books hidden throughout my bedroom. BUT. Due to moving last year and my own desire for less stuff, I have been chiseling away at my collection and as a result, it is a LOT smaller than it used to be.
It’s been a process that has taken a lot of time for me, taking away a box of books one month and then taking away another box 6 months later. There are many reasons I have for bringing a book into my collection, and it takes a lot to let one leave. I’m not a fan of regrets, especially when it’s something that seems pretty easy to protect yourself from (basically, keep ALL the books! ;]).
But here’s the thing. Since I’ve been doing this over a long period of time and because I’m an utter nerd, I have started to fall in love with my collection in a new unexpected way.
When I had triple the amount of books I currently own, I definitely loved it. I loved how the shelves looked– I loved just having that presence. I loved that I had all of these books to read and all of these books I read recently and all of these books I collected through the years and it was just the best thing ever. Books! Books! Books!
I still love that. I’m not discounting that by any means. I love big collections of books dearly. Among many things, they are inspiring and beautiful.
But I also love what I am doing right now. I’m going to say a thing and it’s going to sound weird… but I feel like I’m building this intimate relationship with my book collection right now.
Every book has a purpose and a reason to be there. The reasons are different for each book. Some I’m keeping merely for sentimental reasons (Teen Idol by Meg Cabot) others because they have carved a place in my heart (The Onion Girl by Charles DeLint). Some books I’m keeping for a possible future child (The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce) and others because they just look so dang pretty (The Complete Works of Isaac Babel, anyone? Some light weekend reading?).
By no means am I done chiseling. There are a LOT of titles I know I will most definitely remove within the next 5 years. Heck, I could probably pass them along right now– but something is holding me back. I still have that connection with that book and maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to remove, but I’m just not ready.
And that’s okay. I will never be done refining and growing, and as a result neither will my book collection. I am turning this collection into a living, breathing thing and as time goes on, the books that have been shaking loose will eventually fall loose allowing for new ones to stick.
I like knowing that as I ride these reading roller coasters– whether it involves obsessively falling in love with a series or deciding I need every contemporary YA novel published– the most important piece will stick with me. I like being able to get in there, pull out some of the extraneous leaves, and see what has taken root.
So today I have learned not only have I completely changed my personal book collection methods recently, BUT I am also a
little lot more… obsessive with it than I ever realized.
How about you?
Do you have your own methods behind what books you end up getting and keeping?
OR. Have you innocently gone to move some furniture around only to have it turn into a complete self-examination?! I never knew organization could be that powerful ;).