Re-Arranged

by J.D. Roth

My startling transformation from a hoarder to a purger continues.

“I want to get rid of more books,” I told Kris last night.

“Which books?” she asked. She looked skeptical.

“Nearly all of them,” I said.

That was going to far, Kris protested. “You don’t need to get rid of any more literature,” she said. “If you want to get rid of something, get rid of your comic books. And the science fiction.”

Over the years, I’ve amassed a large science fiction library, one that takes up about 360 inches of shelf space. Maybe more. But I don’t read science fiction much anymore. I haven’t read a single book from my scifi library since we moved to the new house.

To make matters worse, the scifi books live on a pair of bookshelves in the guest room, a room that I keep complaining doesn’t give me enough room to work. (It doubles as my writing office.) I want to get rid of the guest bed, but Kris thinks I should get sell the science fiction bookshelves instead. We purchased them for $20 each from a disgruntled Borders employee. The shelves are angled so that the base rests on the floor several inches from the wall. They take up a lot of space. And they’re ugly.

“Yeah, I could purge some science fiction,” I said. “Maybe I could move the remaining books to a shelf in the other room.” We have a pair of bookshelves in our ‘cat room’ that we use mainly as storage for children’s toys. Since we have no children, these could probably be kept out of sight.

“Maybe I could move the small bookshelf from the media room into here,” Kris said. “Then we could put the kids books on it, and you could move your science fiction books over.”

“Could we get rid of the guest bed?” I asked, though I already new the answer.

“No!” said Kris. After a moment she added, “But we could move the guest bed into a corner, which would give you more space to work in.”

We’ve made a decision to re-arrange several rooms again. This happens once every few months, and I love it. I derive great pleasure from shuffling books between rooms, from dragging furniture to-and-fro. It’s as if we’re gradually seeking the ideal layout for every room in the house.

Updated: 15 June 2006

Do what's right. Do your best. Accept the outcome.
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