Shelves of Books

The Minnesota cold snap has inspired me to reorganize my precariously toppling, epically disorganized book shelves. While my daughters set up an elaborate pillow fort, I cleared the shelves and went through  books on everything from Orthodox Judaism to organic pest control, from reincarnated witches in spice shops to a red-headed orphan girl’s Canadian coming of age.

I encountered many old friends (The World According to Garp, Little Women, Beloved, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe) that have hidden for years on the top shelf. My reaction to catching sight of their titles was much like catching the eyes of an old friend across a crowded room: one part joy and one part embarrassment that it had been so long.

I discarded some stinkers, single-read paperback mysteries purchased for camping trips or dull economics tomes leftover from college. Most exciting was the cache of unread books purchased at garage sales or second hand stores and then forgotten on the shelves. There are enough to fill my winter with cozy fireside adventures.

My newly organized shelves are extremely satisfying in their reflection of who I am, where I’ve been, where I hope to go, and what I believe.  They are also full of hope for the writer within (beyond the obscene stack of books on the craft of writing, I mean). Even with so many stories already out there, so much still remains unwritten. So many variations on the same theme result in books that bear little resemblance to one another.

This was a wonderful project to get me inspired for the November writing push!

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