Friday, July 07, 2017

Book Issues

"In the study she nodded to my husband, turned completely around once, and then remarked that we seemed to be making no practical use of the space in our house. 'This room would be much larger,' she said, 'if you took out all those books.' Mrs. Ferrier thought the master bedroom should have faced west, and she barely put her head inside the smaller bedrooms. 'They would be much larger,' I told her, 'if we took out the beds.'" - Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson **

Seeing as how I have books on bookshelves in my bedroom, but still no bed, it is clear that Shirley Jackson and I see eye-to-eye on the importance of things. I am really starting to miss the large built-in bookshelves in our old house, as well as the Folly, which had multiple, if decrepit, bookshelves where we kept more academic volumes that we didn't want to part with. Now all those books are sitting in boxes around the house, waiting for a shelf to live on. I walk around my house wondering, "Could I fit a bookshelf in here?" These bookshelves do not exist yet, but I see them in my imagination running down every hallway in the house. (And this is the much depleted book collection. I shudder to think the state we would be in if we hadn't done quite so much purging.) I haven't even started on the school/craft/sewing room. I'll have to be sure to take a before picture of that particular room before I start on organizing it.

I'm particularly bad at taking before shots. How will you appreciate the beauty and order I have wrought if you cannot see the chaos beforehand? You'll just have to use your imaginations. I want to show you the level of desperateness I am in for shelf space. Yesterday it was the cookbooks. I decided to turn the built-in desk into other types of storage. First I had to remove all the desk detritus that had accumulated over the past two weeks, in drifting piles of paper of varying importance. (I just picked them all up, and put them in a pile in another box near the place where I will actually have my desk. Bill paying will have to happen soon, so I'm afraid I will have to actually tackle that next.) Once it was clean, I could do this...


Those are my cookbooks and cooking magazines, grain mill, Bosch mixer (for making bread dough), and the Kitchen Aid. There's even room for more cookbooks in the future. I like shelves with empty spaces because it is like tacit permission to buy more books.

Clearly we have book issues around here.

**Raising Demons, and the first volume, Life Among the Savages, are the memoirs of Shirley Jackson (yes, that Shirley Jackson, of "The Lottery" fame) regarding raising her four children. The are hysterical, and I reread them every so often, just for the sheer fun of it. It will also make you vaguely glad that you do not have to take her children shopping, though I'm afraid I now come perilously close with L.

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