Books Shelved

A well-rounded reader.  (image from

A well-rounded reader. (image from

We have a new set of beautiful bookshelves.  They arrived today and, as they stand, they are empty.  Not for want of books – we have plenty of those lying around.

The old bookshelf is going to have to go, I know that much.  The old books, which for the most part I have read a few times over, will also have to go, somewhere.  The logical choice would certainly be the new bookshelves.  I’d have a nice tidy display to remind me of all the places my imagination had been.

Instead, for now, I think I will keep the new booksshelves empty.

I’ll put those old books in a crate and drop them off at the library.  Over time, I’ll fill up those new bookshelves with books I haven’t read.  As I read them, I’ll pop them in that same old crate.   And then when the shelves are empty, I’ll drag the crate to the library again.  When I get home, I’ll really be able to look at the empty bookshelves and know just how enriched my imagination had become.

Categories: Creative Writing

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10 replies

  1. I need to follow your path. Unfortunately two years ago, we moved into a house with a wall of built-in shelves in the den. It’s impossible for me to resist, but I need to try.

  2. Really? An empty bookshelf? (growl) Doesn’t sit right with me…

    • Hahaha. Well as you can see, my post was at least 18% bluff. The rest was serious. I want to grow my collection – not on the shelf, but in my memory and imagination! In our flat, there just isn’t enough room for both!

      • I know what you mean. I pared down my book collection when we moved down from Truckee, and I bought an eReader. But still our bookshelf is overflowing! Good luck in keeping it clear for new books. 😉

  3. That’s a great way to look at it. I’m the opposite – I just can’t part with any of my books, which I know is silly.
    I do need a new bookcase though, the two I have are overflowing at the moment. 😛

  4. Do you have any books you just can’t bare to part with?

    • Now that is a great question! The short answer is yes! There are a few writing books I feel so indebted to that I will never part ways with them. I also have a copy of On the Road given to me by a close friend that I have since lost touch with. He wrote a letter to me on the first page that I treasure as much as the book. Finally, I have a trash romance novel that was written by a former lawyer, it’s a source of inspiration even if it is complete rubbish. What about you?

      • I like looking in second hand book shops for old books with messages in the front. It always shocks me how they end up so far from their homes with messages of such beauty within. A book I would never get rid of? I have an old copy of Noddy from when I was little. I think I read that book over a thousand times, it is mine forever. I studied for years and years and therefore got stuck in the world on non-fiction (shudder). The first fiction book I read as an adult, the book that made me want to write was In One Person by John Iriving. I had borrowed it from the library and had trouble returning it, overdue fees and all, so I bought myself a copy and sealed our relationship.

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