Let’s take a break in the kvetching and talk about books. I love books. I, thankfully, love my local library, so I can afford to read all the books my little heart desires, but despite that, I still live in a house full of books. There is a bookcase in basically every room of the house. Except for the bathrooms, and our bedroom, but those rooms all have at least a stack of books sitting there. They are roughly sorted: J and YA books in the guest bedroom, more YA and some poetry in the upstairs hallway, my antique books in the main floor hallway, sports and war in the basement, craft books and journals in the craft room, baby books in Jess’s room, and a library with 5 bursting bookshelves. A ton of them were bought as discards at the library, a handful at airports. Very few of the fiction books, outside some beloved CanCon, are new, or at least, bought at full price. (I’m cheap that way.)
Post university, I moved 5 times in a little over 6 years, and each time, winnowed the book collection, but I can’t help myself – it’s still huge. There is all sorts of stuff. There are a few shelves of the more interesting textbooks and other fun non fiction books. A whole row of Lonely Planet destinations. Shelf after shelf of cookbooks, including some delightful ones from 1920 and 1970. Every Calvin and Hobbes cartoon ever published. Magzines purchased around the world on vacations. More than half of Terry Pratchett’s work. The entire James Bond collection. More hockey books than you can imagine. Multiple editions of my favourite YA books (primarily Tamora Piece and Gordon Korman.) David’s Star Trek novel collection. My teenage sci-fi and fantasy books (Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey). The bulk of the antique books are various editions of the Bobbsey Twins books – the first books I ever loved – plus some delightful random old books (Impatient Virgin, Jane: Stewardess of the Air Lines). I love them. I love them all. Every year I’m offered an e-reader for Christmas, and every year I refuse, because I love books. The physical tangible form, the smell, the way they feel in your hand, the way the paper changes over the decades, the weight, the look, the fonts, the covers. Everything about them. Which is why we own so many of them.
You can probably tell from the pictures that we also use bookshelves for our stuff. The camels I bought in the Middle East patrol the travel shelf. About half the glass paperweights are ones I made during a glass blowing workshop. (The good ones mostly belonged to my grandparents.) The small stuffed animals are from various trips David and I have taken together. The fossil is from work, as is the plaque, while the troll was brought back for me by my grandparents from Scandinavia 20 years ago. Wooden eggs from my dad’s best friend, brought back for the USSR in the 80s. Memories made tangible, basically, and also things that are just cool. Bit of life, I guess.
Jess has a lot of book already – I will admit to buying books for future hypothetical babies since university. What, Sandra Boyton books for 50 cents is a steal! And retro golden books are fun. And how could I not buy the complete adventures of Frog and Toad? My family baby shower was a book shower, so I got a ton more books then. Including my personal favouite: the Mr Men series. My grandparents used to have a bunch of them, and when we broke up the house, I kept a few of them. I’ve bought a few more from the library, but my aunt and cousin surprised me and bought a whole stack of them. I do own one book that cracks me up every time I look at it. It’s the kind of thing you’d only get in a few places – Calgary, Texas, maybe the North Sea…
It’s surprisingly specific. I mean, they even talk about horizontal wells!
This is actually a decent technical explanation, with all the right words and everything,
I can’t wait for Jess to be old enough to enjoy books for more than their value as a chew toy.