Shelf Space

Today my daughter and I did a little bit of spring cleaning. Actually, we continued something we started a few weeks ago: our book cataloging project. At this point, I should probably mention that we might occasionally have a slight impulse control issue where the buying of books is concerned. As a result, with the amount of books we have lying about everywhere a clear picture of what we have in the way of reading material is much needed.

To be honest, my husband and I are both bibliophiles. The look of certain books, the feel, even the smell of them holds something enticing. Combine that with fairly broad interests and you end up with a severe shortage of shelf space.

We purge our collection every once in a while and weed out the books we don't feel the need to hold on to. We collect them – generally fiction of various genres – in bags and eventually end up taking them to the American Book Center for one of their trade-in days (where we get vouchers in return, which we promptly end up spending on more books; lather, rinse, repeat…)

About half the books I buy these days I buy with my children in mind: books that are fun for them now or will be fun for them when they're older, books that I used to love, classics that I hope they will read, books that will prompt them to think about issues and ideas, and books that reflect some of my own interests so that we can hopefully share them. Having these books for them gives me the opportunity to read with them and to them, and there's nothing quite like it. I can't really explain it, but there's a connection that comes from that that is unlike anything else.

But to get back to the spring cleaning, we finally decided to start organising our books properly this time, and actually cataloging the books we have has been very enlightening, as well as cathartic. I am finally beginning to get a clear picture again of what we have, and what I still have to read (no real need to buy anything new in the near future – not that that will stop me, of course).

After all this work, perhaps the only book I should allow myself to buy anymore is a book on how to exercise some self-control so I won't end up buying more books for a while.

Oh, and by the way: that dress is blue and black. It is so not white and gold!


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