Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our Houses Have Books

Since their lives aren't busy enough with new jobs and schoolwork and planning a wedding, SIR and Little Cuter have added house hunting into the mix.  The reason is obvious - they've outgrown their space.

It's not Thomas-the-Wonder-Granddog's need for a fenced yard in which to romp which is prompting their move.  It's not an overwhelming desire to ride the train into the city every morning that is fueling their passion.  It's not suburban shopping malls or fantastic schools or reducing their monthly outlay while building for their future.... no, the real reason they are moving is because there's no more room in their apartment for their books.

The floor to ceiling shelving has been double stacked for a long time.  On my last visit, the third row was beginning to overflow.  Tomes were stacked hither and yon and I watched Little Cuter's sadly shaking head, slowly turning, side to side, as she offered me volumes to take home and refused my offer to send some of her favorites from Tucson to Chicago.  "My books are three deep - I need a home!"

I didn't take a picture; I didn't want to make her sad.

TBG and I are not much better off.

Climbing the stepstool is still a challenge for me, especially when my hands are full.  Thus, I've beem using the bottom two shelves to store library books and used book store books and class texts and novels I've grabbed to find a specific quote.  I never quite get around to putting them back where they belong.  I am stymied by the ever decreasing amount of space that remains.

We can't move again - oh, dear, we most certainly cannot - even if my library is taking over the place.  I have to be ruthless once again, I suppose.  I left 20 years of books in Marin - public libraries, used book stores, and homes for the aged were the recipients of my largesse.  I vowed that I would be a library patron.  I vowed that I would resell the used books I bought.  I would not retain my hoarding habits.

Obviously, those plans went awry fairly quickly.

Big Cuter has multiple copies of his favorite books.  These three are in the give-away box because there's a fourth copy on the shelf in his room here in Tucson and another one on his shelf back in San Francisco.   At a certain point even he could agree that enough is enough.
I convinced him to spend an hour a night with me going through the boxes I had moved from California to his closet here in the desert.  The Sherman Alexie was mine; all the rest of the books in that box and the 7 others that we went through were his. 

I love a kid who reads and I got two of them.  I wish they came equipped with their own furniture.
An aside - I was supposed to be born on this date 60 years ago.  I love the image of my mother, feeling the contractions on the 27th, urging me to relax and stay put for just 2 more days.  She knew that I was missing the chance to be something special - a leap year baby.  I'm still aggravated at my neo-nate self for missing the opportunity to celebrate my 15th birthday today.


  1. AB, you are something special even if you weren't born on February 29th. :)

    I love books too and even the smell of them. Hubby acts like he doesn't know me when I start sniffing the books at Costco. I just love the smell of books. I resolved though when I got a Kindle to try and purchase my books in e-format because they do take up a lot of space. This way, I can carry a bunch of books on my iPad and not have the weight. Even here at the office, I have our librarian order me e-books. I know I don't get to smell the books anymore, but it's actually made me read a lot more.

    I too had to pare down my book collection when we purchased new shelving for our living room. It made me sad, but they were just taking up space. I know how hard it is to get rid of books--especially ones that are our favorites.

    Have a happy 29th.

    Megan xxx

  2. I will take a picture of my current shelving situation and send it to you today :). I will not take a picture of the overflow of James Patterson novels in both my bedroom and the den. Those we will just keep between us... m'kay?

  3. I do so love knowing that you two are here every morning, reading and smiling :) Happy Day, GIrls <3
    a/b (mama)

  4. I am a reader a voracious collector of books and both of my grown children are readers too. But now they've gone and done something I can't see myself ever do...they both have Kindle's. I need a book to hold, to fold pages, make notes, make a mess of while I eat and read on the road by myself. I have shelves overflowing and a full size storage rental that is 3/4 full of books I can't really even access right now...and I am not generally a pack rat.

    So you did my heart good to know that i am not alone in my love of books. Thank you!

    Happy 15th does sound cool doesn't it?!

  5. Happy Birthday! This is a big'un, in terms of significance...or maybe that's just me.

    Anyway, greatest love and the bane of my existence. I tried putting a new policy in place about a year ago: book in/book out. It was after a big clean-out and I've stuck to it fairly well. The Kindle Fire was my reward and is meant to further encourage me. And, oh, I do love that little baby. But a house is worthless without books and the more built-in bookshelves, the better. Hope they find something with miles and miles of shelves.

  6. Thought you and all the other book-lovers might appreciate this! "A Girl Who Reads"

    Congrats on your first big hike! Isn't this Arizona weather lovely?


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