Thursday, 20 May 2010

Groaning Bookshelves

We are getting ready to move house. In a few weeks time our mountains of chattels will be squeezed onto a huge lorry (actually last time it was two lorries - the shame of it) and taken to our new home. It's not a house we would buy ourselves, but a mortgage free existence is not to be sneered at in these times of financial quick sand. One of the reasons we would not choose it, is that the rooms are all smaller than in our current home. Ah, there lies the rub. Quarts and pint pots just don't come into it.

Now the real root of the problem is that we have lived for six years in a house with quite enormous bedrooms, even the smallest takes a double bed and room for storage. So we have been spoilt - and we have still never managed to find homes for everything (like the pile of unhung pictures that never quite made it to the loft and have remained like a piece of dubious modern art on our bedroom floor).

So, now we really are going to have to get rid of some stuff. The 'useful one' who is gifted in the art of wielding drills and other such exciting bits of kit is heading for sainthood. When we married (21+ years ago) he had a lot more books than me - mostly about Cuba and world development. During those years I became a minister and now outstrip his book collection by a ridiculous amount. He has actually read ALL of his (I cannot claim such literary dedication). The beatification nomination is based on the fact that he has put aside two whole shelves of books for the use of the Oxfam bookshop in Ealing. I, as yet, have not set any aside for disposal. I do have a book token burning a hole in my handbag... just one more trip to Waterstone's darling? No - okay then.

So the next few weeks are going to be interesting. Just what can I let go of? And, why do I need to surround myself with this security blanket of words - millions of them. Perhaps I'm afraid that I'll run out of my own and be left with nothing to say.


  1. Oh yes - we have a pile of unhung pictures too. Ours are by the dining room door. They've only been there 20 months yet but I don't expect they'll move anytime soon!

    As for the books, is one useful distinction between those books you haven't actually read, but know roughly what's in them and would remember that you had them if you wanted to locate some resource; and those that you haven't actually read and can't even remember buying? And let's face it: the internet will never replace bookshelves, but it should remove the dread of every being lost without words....

  2. Ahhh... I grieve for you - I'll pray you through the process.
    Heaven is a limitless bookshelf and endless time to stock it and read from it.