I finally lugged two big boxes of books down from my parents' attic the other day and - once I had healed from my recent plague - unloaded a couple hundred of my favorite "friends". More specifically, a truckload of book friends from teendom, college and beyond. Stan sat and watched me, amused by my excitement. But, seriously, it was so fun! It had been so long. Some had been packed up for 4 years or more. Every time I saw a new cover I was transported back to the time in which I had lugged that book around: either begrudgingly and at length as assigned literature for a class, or obsessively - creasing and dogearing as I fell in love page by page with characters I thought created for me alone.
If you know me, you know that I like to organize. My vinyl collection is alphabetical by first name (because I like to pretend that me and Frank are on a first-name basis). My CDs used to be autobiographical (ala Rob in High Fidelity). The books had to be tackled, of course.
I have a limited area for my library right now as I'm hunting for a free bookshelf. (ahem.) So the books are pretty squished into this tiny space. And they have to share the shelves with a sound system and a plush hotdog. I decided against trying to alphabetize, because the issue of space demanded that many books be turned on end. Check out the result of an hour or so on the floor covered in musty pages.
Full disclosure: I forgot to label a tiny section between "religious" and "plays" which should be labelled, "romance novels". But, they're vintage and adorable- so you can't judge. These aren't the ones I own, but they give you an idea of what I'm talking about:
There's nothing wrong with keeping a little (practically wholesome) vintage filth onto your book shelf (next to CS Lewis, no less!) as long as it's this stylish.
It's funny the books I chose to keep after reading and the few I tossed away. I know it's silly to think I will want to sit down and read the Oedipus Cycle again- just for fun. But I'm not sure I want to get RID of it entirely. Other books, I got excited about adding to my re-read list?:
- Salinger's "Nine Stories"
- Hornby's "High Fidelity" (it never gets old)
- Greene's "A Gun For Sale
And I'm jazzed to read through the comments on my workshop papers from Junior and Senior year of college. Maybe I'll take some time to work on my (horrible) screenplay about a boy who is obsessed with collecting suicides. (Very dark, I know. I was soo deep.) It's a total rip off of Harold and Maude AND The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.
Anyways- it was fun to see my writing again and to be reminded that I can sit down and make up stories anytime I want. That's the magic of words. You can make them do anything you want. Writing is a perfect obsession for someone like me who is so into organizing. Now for the patience to take up reading as a hobby again so my books don't feel neglected.