Book Bust

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?


5 Responses to “Book Bust”

  1. Sarah said

    o’ dikaeopolis!

  2. Ryan said

    I do actually still use my college textbooks, at least my art history books. Although you do make a good point, I could probably donate several that I’m never going reread. As for where we store books: everywhere, mostly they take up a whole wall in the living room, plus a few bookcases in both our offices, and some in the bedroom…

  3. O’ Dikaeopolis, is right. When was the last time I used ancient Greek?

    Ryan: There are a select few that I do reference (however infrequently). I do wonder how many of them are just dust magnets, though. From a respiratory standpoint, books are likely some of the worst offenders. But I love some of them so much. To use the Greek, what a dilemma!

  4. Justin Garland said

    If I could only keep one book in my entire house, I would choose My Life With Barbra.

    I bet Barry Dennen can speak ancient Greek. Using two methods. (Sick, that’s disgusting!)

    Oh, how I love thee, Barry Dennen, with your purple cape and bloody hands!

    “To keep you vultures happy I shall flog him!”

    In all seriousness, though, I am the worst about books. I wish I could cull my collection, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I think it’s the improbable prospect that someday I might want to flip through them again. Ludicrous…

  5. […] hear you. Have you read about my closet? About my bookshelves? About the masses of paperwork, the craft circus that is my life? Likewise, we have a bike, […]

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