Monday, March 13, 2006

In Which I Cause People to Question My Mental Health

Hi. I'm Deb and I have a Book Addiction. (Hi, Deb!) I know y'all have heard me mention this before, but today you're going to see the ugly truth about just how obsessed I really am. What prompted this urge to confess, you may ask? Well, I'll tell ya. After I finished the bodice ripper thing I blogged about a couple of days ago, I was trying to decide what to read next. A lot of people would say they looked at their To Be Read pile, but I don't HAVE a TBR pile-in-the-singular. At least I didn't until this past weekend. What I had was a slew of TBR pileS of various sizes lurking at all sorts of locations around the house. This made it all too easy to not realize how many unread books I had accumulated. But somehow it all finally reached critical mass in my brain a couple of days ago. My bookshelves were so crammed full that I couldn't find any place to shelve the last few books I'd read, so they were in yet another teetering pile...or two...ok, maybe THREE. I knew for a fact there were books on the shelves that I would probably never want to read again and that I should find new homes for them. And I was having trouble figuring out what I had in the house that I hadn't read yet. So Saturday afternoon I started pulling books off the shelves and rearranging. I started making piles of books that I wanted to get rid of. I started gathering up all my unread books and putting them in one place. And finally, I started rearranging the previously-read-keepers on the shelves. Here's the Good News - my bookshelves look neater than they've looked in months...maybe even years! And they not only look nice, they are reasonably well-ordered so that I should (knock wood) be able to find things when I want them. For instance I now know exactly where my copy of "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" is, although I no longer remember what I wanted to read in it when I was tearing the shelves apart looking for it to no avail a few weeks ago. (It's a tiny volume and had fallen behind something on the shelf.) Here's the Neutral News (Bad in that I had all this stuff taking up space, but Good in that I have a plan to get it out of the house, therefore Neutral!) - I have 2 medium-size boxes and 12 plastic grocery sacks full of books that I'm getting rid of. I'm taking them to Cincinnati with me in a couple of days and will turn them in to Half Price Books for as many as they'll buy. Anything they won't take is going to be dropped off at Goodwill. They are currently in my car trunk and they NOT coming back in the house. Before I boxed and bagged them up, here's what those piles looked like: and (bad lighting, sorry!) I even discovered I had TWO copies of this book: (Y'know, anyone who can't appreciate the irony of owning two copies of "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" is probably reading the wrong blog. Heh.) Helpful Hint For Monday: It turns out that buying books about clearing your clutter doesn't actually clear any clutter! In fact, it could be argued that buying books about clearing your clutter makes MORE clutter unless you, oh...I don't know...READ them and do some of the stuff they suggest. Who knew?! Now are you ready for the Bad News? (Gulp) Once I finished combining all my various TBR piles into one area, this is what it looked like: Should I have warned you to sit down first? I haven't counted them, but I can estimate. So, ok...If I count the first pile of hardcovers and multiply that by the number of hardcover piles, and then count a pile of softcovers and multiply that by the number of softcover piles, and then add those two numbers together, let's see, carry the one and...I estimate the total to be somewhere between embarrassing and deranged. If I keep up my typical pace of reading a book or two a week and don't re-read any old favorites (haha) or buy any new ones (says the woman who is expecting a box from Amazon any day now....Hey! I ordered before the Book Purge started AND they were running a buy 3, get 1 free special!!), I figure I can work my way through this pile in what....2 years or so? Um, yeah. I haven't figured out where to put these quite yet. I'm still clearing away some old magazines, so I'm hoping by the time I'm done I'll have my own TBR section on the bookshelves. I'm also hoping by embarrassing myself like this that I can make myself stick to my new Book Management Plan so that it never gets quite so overwhelming again. The Book Management Plan isn't original or complicated, but it should work if I stick with it. My new self-imposed Book Management Rules: 1. When I buy a book, there has to be room to put it on a bookshelf. 2. If there isn't room to put it on a bookshelf, I have to get rid of something else to MAKE room. 3. As soon as I read a new book, it is designated "keeper" or "passalong". Keepers are to be shelved (see rules 1 and 2 above) while Passalongs go in a bag designated for that purpose. 4. When the Passalong bag is full, those books leave the house, one way or another. I can sell them, give them away, whatever, but they're outta here. Sounds reasonable, yes? Now we'll see if I can stick with it. (whimper) Daily Art Thang: "Gothic Barn" I was in the mood for something a bit gloomy today. Heh.