‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Thursday, September 25, 2008

literary overload

All my life I have wanted to write a book. Okay, maybe not ALL my life, but at least since I was in elementary school. As life goes on, the margin of not-caring-about-booksness slims. Soon I will be at 100% wanting-to-write-a-book plus or minus a 5% margin for error.

Except now I'm not so sure. There are just so darn many of them out there already. I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a birthday present (Mollie Katzen's Pretend Soup - fab cookbook for kids) and was overwhelmed by all the interesting-looking new releases. I have been trying to stay out of bookstores lately and honestly it was a little like going back on real coffee after a few years of decaf. Holy mackerel.

Also, we have been excavating the house. Chris just emptied the hall closet and guess what? It was floor-to-ceiling full of boxed books. Floor to ceiling. When he emptied the closet, the boxes stretched all the way down the hall.

And that's not including the books on the bookshelves. The bookshelves which, by the way, cover an entire wall in the livingroom. It is also not including the books that are in boxes in Ruth's bedroom. Remember how I told you that Ruth is blind? Yeah, it's not right. I think it's like the feng shui equivalent of making her sleep on nails.

These, by the way, are all Ruth's books. Ours are still upstairs, quaking with fear as they watch their compatriots get carted off. We love our books, here at Trout Towers. We have a little hoarding problem.

Many of them we do want to keep, but many can go to good homes. Then there's the pile of comicly outdated self-help books. They are all mixed together downstairs, making it a little like panning for gold as we sift. T.S.Eliott sits next to "Healing Your Hamster's Psychic Distress," or some such nonsense. There are probably a number of first editions in there. There are probably a number of first, only and one-too-many editions in there. We are culling the herd.

And as I walk by these piles of dusty volumes, I think "do I really want to add my two cents to this pile?"

Maybe that's what I like about blogging right now. As much as I love books, it's nice to just put it out there and not take up any physical space.

Music has gotten to be that way. It kept shrinking until finally - poof! It physically vanished. Many books have gotten that way. I look at our dictionaries and encyclopedias and realize that I don't use them anymore because I look everything up right here. Which is good and bad. It's a tactile loss, but oh, the space to breathe in my home is remarkable.

At the rate things are going - technology zipping along, and me carrying on like a tortoise who thought the nap looked like a good idea - the books we read, maybe ALL the books we read, will be released in a digital format.

And my own story will be ready to enter the fray.


Kristin said...

I really hope I never see the day when books are only released digitally. It would be the end of my eyesight.

We have a book problem, too. A hundred years of accumulation in the house, plus the fact that the local library has been culling their stacks and selling books for 50 cents, means the books are taking over. It drives me CRAZY. I love books, but I hate clutter. A conundrum.

hazelblackberry said...

(1) Getting rid of old books means making room for new books. (Not necessarily literally new, but new to you.)

(2) Yes, seeing all the books on the shelves of the bookshop out there is a little daunting when you think about putting your own effors along side them. You just have to shut your eyes andf plough on.

Mary Alice said...

I am a book lover as well. But moving all the time makes it neccessary to keep the book boxes to a minimum. God love the public library.

I love blogging too...it's contained and neat creativity. I used to paint a lot....also takes up alot of space.

Susan said...

kristin - I share your conundrum! Oh, those 50 cent books would be the end of me.

HB - You've just said exactly what I would have said in the comments of one of your posts had I thought of it first.
1) Getting rid of (insert anything) means making room for new (insert anything).
2) You just have to shut your eyes and plough on.

Mary Alice - I am a huge fan of the public library. I wish we could borrow more of the things in our home, and give them back when we're done. Our cat, for example.

Rock and Roll Mama said...

I feel the same way in Barnes and Noble...I practically hyperventilate every time I walk in there. And since I'm currently at 110% want to write a book, I'm also crippled by wanting to knock doewn all the books that are there for TAKING MY SPOT!!! ARGHH!!!
Because, you know. Just because they did it first. Sniff.
But it's also reassuring. If so many are coming out, and some of them look rather silly, surely mine can hold it's own. At least that's what I'll tell myself next month when mine goes out on submission. (Fingers crossed.) xoxo, L

PS- we have major book clutter- mostly writing books. LOL.