Do Not Anthropomorphise the Books

Posted on 21/09/2011 by


Paul S: …and he really liked it.
Me: Well, yeah, they’re like hilarious crack cocaine. So you told him you were a dealer, right? That maybe you could work something out?
Paul S: I’ve got a couple in my bag.
Me: Just to get him started.
Paul S: Exactly.

I have a problem with books. No, this is not me admitting an addiction. (Though I may have one, we will not talk about it.) My problem is that I have too many of them. And the collection is growing.

It hasn’t yet reached completely unmanageable proportions. But I grew up with my parents collection. I lived in a house where the walls and landing were lined with shelves. Where we used bookshelves to create entire rooms that hadn’t existed before. I know where this sort of thing leads.

And okay, it’s can be a pretty awesome place. I loved growing up with my own personal library. But as someone who spent days hauling boxes of books up three flights of stairs during my first set of university exams because my delightful parents decided the library in the new house would be located in the studio room at the top of the house, believe me when I say there are good reasons to try to keep it under control.

I don’t have stairs. But I only have so many walls. And books take up a ridiculous amount of space. And I don’t want to have to resort to actually cataloguing them so I can find them. I’m really very lazy.

Besides now there are ebooks. Which are just… nifty. So I’m collecting them instead. They don’t smell as nice and I can’t throw them across the room when I want to, but they don’t take up any space at all. (And I almost never have that, ‘I finished my book halfway through my train ride, now what do I do?’ problem.)

I’m never going to get rid of all of my hardcopy. I’m always going to want to be able to pick my favourites off the shelves. But for the bulk of the collection… Okay, last week I was having trouble letting go of my 26 year old freezer, the likelihood of me actually getting rid of that many of my books is… Well, maybe I could shelve them in the garage? But then they’d get cold and get sawdust on them and… Do not anthropomorphise the books, Kandace.

Still, while I was (yet again) reorganising the shelves to fit the new stuff on yesterday I allowed myself to hope that maybe, just maybe, my book collection won’t end up where my parents’ did. Maybe I’ll end up with more books! Victory! *ahem* I mean, maybe the physical collection won’t reach a size and density where it rips a hole in time and space and connects to the library at Unseen University. Because, while that would be cool in many ways I’d prefer not to reach the point where I have to mess with causality and quantum physics before I can grab Night Watch off the shelves.


Posted in: Kandace