Daily debris clutters my kitchen counters. If I don’t deal with it everyday, my counters would be taken over by ripped open mail, random tools, cereal boxes left out, electronic devices, and just about anything else that a household uses, discards, but doesn’t fully clean up. Like vines that initially creep up the exterior of a house, if left unattended will eventually swallow the house back in to the earth.
This does not apply to piles of books. Books are not clutter. They are little pieces of art, that when stacked on top of each other make tall pieces of art. They can be make-shift coffee tables. Their spines can add subtle hints of color to an otherwise drab-looking room. They provide easy intros to conversations for someone searching for an ice breaker. The majority of my books are organized on shelves. My fiction collection, because it is larger, is more or less alphabetized. My non-fiction is all together on a smaller shelf, somewhat grouped by categories.
But right now, as I write this, I am out of shelf space. I have two stacks in my bedroom that are about three feet tall. Sometimes I use them to prop my iPad on while I blow dry my hair. I do wish they were on shelves, but at this point I haven’t completed figured out where the next set of book shelves will go. Wait, that’s a lie. I do know where I want them to go, I’m just trying to convince my husband to build them for me.
In the meantime I will simply dust the stacks of books, go through them, making potential lists of when I might read them, and make sure they do not become damaged while waiting for a home on a shelf. When I walk through the rooms in my home, seeing a stack of books on a table beside a chair does not look cluttered, but rather quite inviting.
The lure a stack of books has over me is undeniable. It’s only the desire to have clean and uncluttered spaces everywhere else that prohibits me from constantly plopping down in a chair and reading the day away.
“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”
– Jane Smiley