Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Farewell, Used Books

I need support and sympathy. I finally managed to go through the books that line our stairwell (all paperbacks) and get rid of two boxes worth. Previously, I went through the unpacked boxes in the basement and culled out another few boxes that have gone to the library book sale.

It makes me just a bit nauseous. Giving away any books is just so hard for me -- I'd keep every single book that I've ever bought, if it was really up to me. Unfortunately, it's limited by storage space and available bookshelves. But, I think I can part with the two hundred or so seriously bad bodice-ripper romances that I haven't read since the 80s, don't you think? That's about all I culled out and sent to the library, but it left these big gaps in the shelves (we have seven shelves, about 8' wide, in the stairwell just for paperbacks) and I found myself rearranging the books to fill in the gaps sometime around midnight last night. The entire top shelf is empty now, and part of the second shelf, and I hate it.

It does mean that I have space for the books I've unpacked downstairs and decided to keep, however. Don't worry, there's no shortage of books! As a matter of fact, we've reached maximum bookshelf capacity in the house. They've begun to pile up on other horizontal surfaces, and we need a few more shelves!

I was watching a series of these 'fix-your-house-type television shows on the DIY channel last weekend, you know the ones? The "professionals" arrive, sweep through your house and disparage your stuff, force you to get rid of about half of it and then redo your rooms (often hideously). The parallel show is the 'organize-it' type of show, where the guru turns a cluttered house into a zen-like ascetic retreat. Both of these shows scare me.

Firstly, because they all seem to think that books = clutter, and demand that the hapless homeowner get rid of all but two or three books. And it's not like these people had shelves full of them -- maybe two dozen or so -- but the designer insisted that they couldn't have them cluttering up the shelves. "Pick your two favorites!" they say, "You don't need these!".

Yeah, I do. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Get out of my house, you silly cow.

Secondly, most of the designers also believe that wierd-ass-ugly-avante-garde crap is "style". They paint every single piece of wood furniture (including one memorable case where they painted an antique mahogany armoire). Obviously, they are never coming to my house.

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