March 24, 2008
So. We’ve been in our tiny house for a while now, and we still haven’t got hold of that gratifying-if-dust-collecting pile of knowledge: our books. These days, we get most of our reads from the library, but a lucky few have traveled the wine-dark seas with us for years.
They’ve had several homes since our teenyhome occupation. A couple different shelves, with books typically double-parked for lack of space and largesse of number (agreed: impractical and ugly).
But, now that I’ve got spring cleaning on the brain, I’m reconsidering both my storage and my selection. For example: Husbear and I have two different sets — two! different! sets! — of Beginning Attic Greek language textbooks. These have struggled past our biannual book-cutting for years. Why? Because we might want to refresh our ancient Greek someday. Using two methods.
This is bonkers. This is. Bonkers. And that’s just the nib. I was finally persuaded to pare down to a single copy of The Great Gatsby (I had three) just last year. What is it about books that generates such tenacity? Hoarding instinct? Do they flatter us? Do we honestly think we will one day want to read through a glossy physics textbook again? Just because?
Whatever the case, I’ve decided it’s time for another book-cut. Space is at issue here. Space and aesthetics. Space and aesthetics and irrationality (two! different! sets!, I say again). This time, I need to be ruthless. Heartless.
Of course, surely I’ll want to reread My Life with Barbra. Right?
I need help. How do you store your books?