in Books, Rosings Park


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.

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  1. This post is dedicated to my wonderful wife, who sent me this e-mail earlier today:

    You need a new post at foldedspace. I’m going to have to start calling you Jenn.

  2. Harsh words of criticism! You’d need at least 2 months of inactivity before earning that moniker…but I’m glad you updated instead.

  3. Oh, great. Now I’m in trouble….
    Also, please notice no further mention was made of getting rid of the comic books.

  4. No further mention was made of comic books in Blogland, but at Rosings Park, the discussion continued, as Kris well knows.

    Despite (or perhaps because of) my large monthly expenditure on comics, I am considering stopping and even reversing their flow into the house. That is to say, all of my focus on personal finance has made me aware of how much I spend on comics. I love them, no question, and I would keep some treasured volumes, but I could generate several thousand dollars by selling off the majority of the collection. I wouldn’t abandon comics as a hobby, but reduce them as a physical addiction.

    As one might expect, Kris supports this plan with enthusiasm. I’m just not sure that I do…

  5. Now this I understand. This is just my kind of post. I could rearrange and shuffle things all day. Just today I rearranged my guest bedroom and the guest bathroom. Yesterday I totally sorted through everything in one of my store rooms. It’s yucky outside so what better time to get this all done?

  6. Wow, 360 inches sounds like a lot. Then I remembered that our science fiction shelves are three deep. Doesn’t take that many to make 360 inches when the books are three deep. You are right, however. There are many that we haven’t read or referred to in years that just hold an emotional memory that could be gone to make room for the books in the garage. Good luck in your purging.

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