Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Making room for Style.

Often I'll come home from work and do some sort of household task as a way of transitioning from work to home. Many days it's dishes or laundry, but today I suddenly found myself switching out the books in the bookshelf closest to the spot on the couch where I most often sit.

My books were previously organized loosely by category on four bookcases, three in a row on one side of the living room and one on the other side, closest to my favorite spot on the couch. Tonight I came home looking for a place for The Chicago Manual of Style, which I just got in the mail today. I finally ordered it for myself after having it on my wish list and wanting it for 3+ years. The other day I just realized that I write, so I should probably own this excellent resource.

Anyhow, there I was with the thick style book and instead of just squeezing it in somewhere, I decided I needed to rearrange my books in that solo bookcase. Right then.

So I did. I wanted only my favorite books there. Most things came out, but all my language books and dictionaries stayed, as did the tall scrapbooks on the bottom shelf. Out came the decorative little things, except one bookend. Now it's a bookcase full of books that make me feel good. Like a bunch of paper friends there waiting to greet me.

And I love it. I love the change. Before today, it had been about the same for 3.5 years, with the only change being that I purged S's books sometime in August when I realized that sitting in my favorite couch spot and looking at his books on that shelf (and his video games and DVDs by the TV) was killing me. That day I packed his stuff up from the living room and removed all the photos of us from the apartment while crying (and vomiting).

Anyhow. That was then. But I just kept staring at my newly arranged bookcase. My eyes move around, looking at it, falling on my favorite books and pausing at others that I am eager to read. And of course the dictionaries that get so much use are right there in easy reach...including my new reference, The Chicago Manual of Style. But suddenly it seems like there is way too much space between the couch and bookcase. But it hasn't moved. The only explanation I have is that maybe my books make me want to curl up right beside them?

There's a new sense of emotional fresh air in this little corner of my home. The book arrangement is less rational for sure, but looking at those books feels like getting a hug. Which is good enough reasoning for me.


  1. I really love to look at my books. I don't know why exactly. It's almost like my bookshelf is a sacred space and it brings me peace to rest my eyes upon it.

    1. Hi soleil, I know exactly what you mean. I looking at my books has continued to make me feel better... I am glad that your books bring you peace too...