Books books book

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.

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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…

Oh, yes

It’s surprisingly specific.  I mean, they even talk about horizontal wells!

That’s fancy drilling

This is actually a decent technical explanation, with all the right words and everything,

Rotary table? Kelly? Cuttings? This IS the real deal.

I can’t wait for Jess to be old enough to enjoy books for more than their value as a chew toy.

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I have way too much stuff

The meme goes: Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don’t use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of. The ones I’ve done nothing to I don’t, and have never, owned.

“I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars, and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation’s cupboards.”

Luckily my ex kept most of the more ridiculous kitchen stuff, and my current kitchen, while totally lacking in counter space, does have a lot of cupboard space.  Because, ridiculous or not, I love my panini maker.

Clearly, we did something to piss off Karma

I woke up at 7 and went downstairs for a shower.  (The nicest shower in the house is in the fully finished basement.)  And slipped on the tile.  On the very wet tile. 

Flooding.  Yes.

Our fully finished basement in now a disaster zone.  1000 gallons of water over the course of two days.  I ripped the carpet up.  I worked until my fingers actually bled, and I really didn’t know that was even possible.  (ouch)   We lost all of the recently installed, expensive carpet.  We had just installed the 8 foot long custom bar my father in law had built – luckily the countertop wasn’t in so we could unscrew it from the wall and put it on bricks.  We’ve lost the baseboard.  We’re expecting to lose the drywall to the 2 foot mark, and we’re hoping we can save the panelling on the rest of the walls.  We saved our furniture and possessions, because we caught it so fast.  We’ve been lucky, for a given value of luck.  (I mean, at least I’m not pregnant!  Shop vacuuming and towelling and ripping up carpet for 17 hours with out stop was awful enough, without being hormonal and pukey.)  We borrowed fans and a dehumidifier and put down absorbing-clay-and-pebbles and I painted mold-resister everywhere I could reach. 

Insurance, however, covers none of it. 

And there goes the August trip to Seattle.  

And possibly the direly needed re-roof of the garage.

And a good chuck of our savings.

Now we’re waiting for my father in law to come to town tomorrow to assess the wall damage.  We’ve had a plumber in, and installing the sump pump will cost $2000 for the pump, but they’re not sure which walls/floors will have to come out to do it.  We will not be putting carpet down, of course, because I’m never ripped up THAT again.  (We’re thinking polished concrete with radiant heating, and a lot of area rugs.)  And scratching out our entire to do list and making a new one, and having endless discussions about plumbing and what we can do and what we have to pay to have done.  (IE: drywall?  Us.  Painting, baseboard and trim: us.  Radiant flooring?  Maybe.  Concrete?  Waffling.  Staining and polishing concrete?  Me.  Collapsing in a pile of despair? No one.)

So.  How was YOUR weekend?  🙂