Where are my books??

Recently, I was back home and went to the basement to look for some of my books.  When I went down there, the books were gone!  I had a mini freak-out.  Rushing back upstairs, I went looking for my mother.  “Mommy, where are my books??” (insert sad whimpering).  Calm down, she says, they’re in a shelf in the storage room.  Phew.

I own too many books.  I have books lining the dresser of the guest room, books in the storage room, and books in my room.  This does not even count the near 130 books I have in my apartment.  These books, up until recently had been collecting dust in cardboard boxes and living indignant lives stacked on my carpet.  I have so many books, I can’t remember which ones I own.  I nearly bought Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic twice.

With the rising popularity of e-book readers and devices with e-reading capabilities like Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s I-Pad, and most recently, Barnes and Noble’s Nook, is a near-distant future without books possible?  Will I be that person who still reads and writes on tree mulch?  Is it going to be akin to Egyptian papyrus and quills?  Just give me a powdered wig and let me sit in the corner and read, a part of me says.  There’s nothing quite like the tacit connection of holding a book or writing on a piece of paper (I still hand-write the first drafts of most of my poems).  Nor the charm of buying books second hand from street sellers under Waterloo Bridge in London or in New York’s East Village.

Yet, I did have the chance recently to look at a Kindle, and surprise, surprise, it’s easy on the eyes and actually *looks* like text on a piece of paper.  Could I be converted?  I bought my first digital camera about 3 years ago, so let’s not get too excited.  And as someone who actually enjoyed an artistic foray into darkroom photography, I think there’s still a place for film photography and prints.  So many of my favorite pieces were accidents of over or under-exposure, or spontaneous experiments in exposing hand drawings and making prints from double negatives (I think they call things like this lithographs: I am still not sure what this term means).

Anyways, sure I might end up getting a Kindle.  More out of practicality, because if I buy any more books, there may be no room for me. I’m reinstating my moratorium from a few years ago with an addendum: rather than being able to buy a book only after reading a book, I’m going to say I can only buy a book if I *give away* two books.  However, I also want a comfy chair and reading lamp for what I’ve decided is going to be my reading room and not my dining room.  Flanked by an Ikea bookcase with 128 books.

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2 thoughts on “Where are my books??

  1. I nearly bought Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic twice.

    Did the one that would’ve become your spare copy have a different cover? How did you realize you already had it?

    Will I be that person who still reads and writes on tree mulch? Is it going to be akin to Egyptian papyrus and quills? Just give me a powdered wig and let me sit in the corner and read, a part of me says. There’s nothing quite like the tacit connection of holding a book or writing on a piece of paper (I still hand-write the first drafts of most of my poems).

    I’ll be right there with ya reading and writing on tree mulch. I may have to skip the wig and powder, though. Hilarious reference!

    I love these photographs…each collection of books has a different but complementary mise-en-scene.

    I read an article a while back about the increasing popularity of learning and working printing presses among certain circles. I can’t find it now, but here’s something close.

  2. Random thoughts in no particular order:

    – When I recently moved to a new state after living in the same place for 6 years, I did a huge book purge to friends/Goodwill and Cash4books.com. I know a lot of people have an attachment to their book collection and I do too, but I tried to figure out which ones were actually important to me vs. which books I could just get another copy of if I ever needed them again (aka 501 French Verbs – haha!). I’m down to just 3 bookshelves now 🙂

    But if all these books are at your parents’ house, then no need to reduce right? By all means keep on using the free storage.

    – I actually do read a lot of books on my Kindle, but I’ve recently rediscovered the library in a big way. If you have one near you, it turns out that it’s really easy to go online and order your book to your local branch (if it doesn’t have it) and then go pick it up in the next few days. Sometimes really popular stuff has 449 holds on it, so I use the Kindle for those if I just can’t wait to read the Hunger Games, for instance 🙂

    – Can I just say that I have an unjustifiable love for the 4×4 IKEA expedit bookshelf, and am actually jealous whenever I see that someone has one? I only have the 2×4, and dream of someday having the wall space for the whole beautiful enchilada. Maybe it’s the stylish but simple/sleek design that also has the perfectly functional little cube size to fit all sorts of your dorm-room looking stuff and still make your house look orderly and decorated. <– Me justifying my love.

    – Nice blog! I just happened upon it today from fb.

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