Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Stacks

What do you call someone who reads ingredients lists if nothing else is around? Textophile? Scriptomaniac? Compulsive escapist? Because that might be me. If you came to my house, you'd see something like this:

...in every room.

And in case you think this speaks of erudition, note that I re-read the entire Harry Potter series this year back-to-back. And...a zillion kids books, some YA, thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi, pink lit, punk lit...and maybe 3 or 4 non-fiction books. Nothing much to construe as, in any way, respectable or ensmartening (see?)

This might not be something which would even occur to you, frankly. I was in college too long (9 undergraduate years - sweet!) Six incomplete majors, culminating in English theory. University people tend to think academia requires a certain...gravitas, which multiple re-readings of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle or Matilda, minus a dissertation project, probably lack.

I squeeze reading into my day in tiny increments. Baby wants to nurse? Great! Where's my book? Bathroom break? Bring a book!

I think my amassing of books is a bit...weird. I own a few books that are out of print. Books I enjoyed when I was a kid and which I want to share with my own kids. And those are possibly understandable. But...I'm aware I don't REALLY need to own books I most likely will never read again.

I've schlepped hundreds of books across the country and packed and unpacked the same 20+ far-too-heavy boxes in at least a dozen apartments and homes.

I've been scolded by a landlord for jeopardizing the structural integrity of their house by keeping too many books...(I'm not sure who is correct about this one - my sense of logic says "naaah", but my sense of my own fallibility/gullibility says...."is that possible??!!???)

So...this could be the obnoxious post subtitled "Look at meeee - Ready McReaderson". But it's really...I dunno. Confessional and 12-stepperish...

Hopefully there's a point to all the books. My kids might grow up incredibly well read (or at least literate)...and I might branch out into instructive non-fiction and general self-improvement (ugh) a bit more and turn out to develop some, up until that moment, completely amazing talent for...oh, something besides reading late into the night.

Right now, though, it seems most likely that I'd just better stay out of my own house during an earthquake...

6 comments:

angstmonkey said...

I LOVE your collection of books. It makes me feel warm and safe at your house when I see all your walls lined with books. Makes me want to sit down for some chai and crack one open.

Laura said...

hey you! I have attempted to randomly show up at your house a few times but you haven't been home... you need to meet the new baby! I should have your number, I just don't know where it is.

Mrs. G. said...

You can NEVER have too many books.

Lee said...

Mrs. G is right, you can never have too many books. Mike pointed out to me that if the economy goes haywire and our infrastructure goes to hell, books would be hot commodity because all these electric might be gone and what else would people do for entertainment? So maybe hold onto those books until after 2012? LOL.

radishly said...

Hm, I have to wonder about that stack of books that's turned around so I can't see the binding. Very curious.

Mama Nomad said...

I WISH is was bookworm like you. i've have always wanted to be one..*sigh* every teacher i ever connected with urged me to be an English Major and I told them "nope, i'd have to read too many books." i just don't have the attention span for it being a product of this technological, media saturated culture. i just can't focus on a book if i know seinfeld is on somewhere out there in the world. really there is NO SHAME in your obsession with books.