Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Finding their place.

I have been listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks as read by Stephen Fry. But in doing so, I find that when I’m not working on some project, I’m staring at my closet full of books. Of course my mind muses on even better and cleaner organizing within, but it also has caused me to want to pair down even more.

This time it’s not so much to get rid of more, as these are the books I’ve yet to read. Rather, I'd like to remove the ones that just aren’t screaming out to my psyche to be read at the moment. I mean, there are so many I really want to read – likely over a hundred I’m pining to dive into and devour – that storing the others elsewhere for a while might be a wise idea. The idea being to clean out the clutter and feel less overwhelmed with the amount of upcoming reads.

I use the term clutter loosely, because if anything in my life is organized, it’s my books. There’s just too many of them in a small space, but they are ordered – OH, are they ordered! When I feel that my life is getting out of control, I go and reorganize my books. I must feel in that moment that at least in that action, with my books, I have control. It’s a bit like John Cusack’s character with his albums in High Fidelity, only my ordering curricula are quite different.

I mentioned that these are just the books I’ve yet to read, my already read books being in storage. See, because I was in a crisis mode for several years, I went about collecting all the books from the Official Rory Gilmore Book List. That alone is about 120 books. But along the way, there were books that I heard about, read about, or randomly picked up that I discovered I wanted. So getting those, receiving other books as gifts, and then starting yet another book list, BBC’s The Big Read Top 100, I have several hundred books in my closet that are to be read.

Yes, I said in my closet. My clothes have been relegated to a tiny armoire so that my books have space to breathe. The doors are off, and the closet is completely shelved. Yet still, somehow, I have them stacked on top of the neatly shelved books. Neat piles on neat rows. What am I to do?

What’s most frustrating is that lusting I mentioned earlier – that desire to simply devour a title I see right there on my shelf. I think this is why I’ve undertaken so many at once – I just want to read them all NOW so I end up entrenched is eight titles at the same time. I want to pick it up, read it right there in a short time, and then grab the next one. I know it’s illogical, and frankly impossible, but it’s the longing to know and understand each one that grips me.

Every day I consider how I’m going to get these volumes, even the ones I most want to consume, with me when I move to Europe. I finally got the opportunity for the first time this weekend to try a Kindle by Amazon. It was indeed convenient, and compact when you think that you can have a library right there… but the problem is that I already have these hundreds of books I want to read. Why would I re-buy them for that gadget? It just doesn’t work for me. So I keep pondering.

I think it comes down to the fact that it was really unwise for me to do all that collecting in those years of trauma recovery. But it can’t be changed, so I need… a bag that’s bigger on the inside and really strong muscles. Since I haven’t yet read the books on physics to figure out how to do the first bit of that (nor have I met The Doctor, as I’ve long hoped for, who could do that for me), I welcome any and all suggestions…


Miss Eliza said...

Books in a closet, how Roy of you, now just start putting them in desk drawers and dressers as well.

gbpackergirl76 said...

I agree, how very Rory of you! I know what you mean. I got rid of a lot of books that I hadn't read yet but didn't have room for. I don't miss a single one of them. I did write down a list so that I knew which ones I had. I've read a few from the library and they weren't that great. Paring down and simplifying your life are two very freeing things. And I love the feeling of donating the books to a thrift store and thinking of the joy the book will bring to someone else!

Rebecca Curtis said...

I am in the same situation! I am a student and thus it makes it eternally hard to own so many books and have enough places to put them. I was given yet another bookcase this last weekend and it is filled already:(

I considered selling the books I have yet to read or giving them away but my sister (who is also a book lover ) told me that she had decided there will be a lot of things she will sell or give away before she touched her books...I can't disagree with that!

Good luck and let me know if you discover a handy way of storing them in a small space!

Room 10 @ Pt England School said...

Hi Moxie,
Unfortunately for me, I chucked out all the old books I had and that wasn't that many. I enjoy reading but barely have time. Maybe you could list the books you've got and we could vote which ones could go and which ones could stay? Just a suggestion.

From your friends in N.Z

whichwaydidshego said...

Clever idea, Miss Lavakula! But I think this list is a bit vast - the voting would have to be in levels!

Rebecca, I am a whiz at making things fit in small spaces, which means I might be able to help you, but that my space is already well packed!

Packergirl, pairing down IS freeing. It's the figuring out how to make a little cash in the process that is confining.

Eliza, yea, I'm Roryesque! How fun!