This morning I was browsing Twitter while waiting for my coffee to kick in, as usual, and this tweet caught my eye:
“I am making a very important New Year’s Resolution for 2014: read more books and own fewer of them.” -@doughtylouise http://t.co/bKHxs8Jzx2
— Book Keeping (@FSGBookKeeping)
I’m totally on board with the first half of that resolution, but own fewer books?? This I gotta read.
So I clicked the link and read on to discover the author describing a very familiar predicament:
“All around my house – in the bedroom, the spare room, the sitting room – there are interesting geological features. This is nothing to do with the fact that I live in a Victorian townhouse in North London, nor to do with the clay soil on which it is built. It’s because I don’t have enough shelves.
These interesting features consist of stalagmites of books – great wobbly pillars of varying heights constantly threatening to come crashing down.”
This is a problem I can relate to. Books are stacked on every surface in my apartment, two rows deep on the actual bookshelves, taking over endtable space where normal other people have framed pictures of loved ones, and fighting for position on top of cabinets that more rightfully belong to wine glasses and board games. Like the blog post author, I too can blame my mountains of books on my career – but perhaps it would be more honest to blame my career on my greedy love of books?
It doesn’t help that I’m an inveterate producer of marginalia. Sure, I could check out more library books, or borrow from my friends with similar bibliophilic afflictions. But I love scribbling all over my books – asterisks and exclamation points in the margin, long rambling (and obviously brilliant) thoughts and comparison on the back pages at the end. They frown on writing in library books, I’m pretty sure. And if I start marking up my friends’ books, well, soon I’ll find myself with no friends, just tons of free time on my hands to read…hmmmm, on second thought, that doesn’t sound so bad.
Anyway, you should read the whole blog post, because the author offers a nice and logical plan for accomplishing her read-more-own-fewer book resolution. Have you ever tried to cut down on your own book collection? Any success stories to share?
If all else fails, you can always loan your unwanted/unwritten-in books to me!