By now, even in these few posts, readers can tell that I’ve always been a bookworm of the first order. Growing up, it wasn’t unusual for me to have ten or fifteen titles going at one time, in addition to homework assignments. Those who work with words professionally always have several stacks of books going. It’s an occupational hazard. Avid readers don’t worry about having bookshelves worthy of House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, or Better Homes and Gardens. We just want a place to hold our books–neatly, or otherwise. Nothing too fancy. Although….I always thought built-in bookshelves would be really great. A quick Google search revealed bookcases of nearly every style, color, size, and price range.
When we moved, I didn’t take the avocado green bookshelf my mom painted for me when I was nine. Now I wish I had, because the new one I bought at Office Depot is now filled up. But I think Mom would have understood that I needed a change. And I had gotten many good years of use out of it. But reading is not just about displaying books. It’s about enjoying and sharing them. I always loved the scene in the movie Auntie Mame where Mame makes fun of Patrick’s girlfriend because she’s only interested in books because they match the decor.
So anyway, I got into trouble when I became interested in too many subjects at once–what with recommendations from people, sightings in newspaper columns, being on the NOOK Daily Find mailing list, getting the Wowbrary newsletter and other local library newsletters, and so on, and so on, and so on. It got to the point that after I picked up my holds, I would always get one or two more by browsing. One day at my neighborhood branch, I went up to the circulation desk. Looking apologetically at the manager, who had just checked my items out, I said: “I’m so sorry. I browsed again!” His response? “Don’t worry about it. Hang around librarians and you’ll never go wrong.”
As a result of my curiosity, I have book stacks on the floor and chair in my office, the dining room table, two on my dresser, and one on my nightstand. I call them, affectionately, my “reading towers of Pisa.” And just like the Italian landmark, sometimes the stacks lean very dangerously. But I will get through them, come hell or high water. They look something like this:
And then I have framed art posters on the walls, and framed calendar pictures and cards. My stuffed owls, bears, cats, dogs, dragons, wolves and more are placed around the room. A writer can’t be without notebooks and pens. Many of mine have peacocks on them–just because I like them, and they’re very colorful. It’s always good to put pen to paper, but I have chosen not to fill them with pain and sadness in every entry. Check this out. Isn’t it pretty?
Finally, the remainder of my reference books, library books and other paraphernalia look something like this. I also have not mastered filing, but I do try. Sometimes I feel like this guy:
In short, I am not perfect, but I’m always me.