Moving the Library

According to iBooks, I own 253 books.  That does not include the reference books, like Thesauruses, Dictionaries, parenting books, and palmistry books.  It also does not include the dozen or so of cookbooks or the text books I plan to read one day.  (Ink: In my defense, I only dropped lit crit because the original professor, who believed you can only understand it through doing it in one massive paper, grew very ill and had to drop teaching, only to be replaced by a pompous ass, but I swear I’ll read the book.)  Nor does it include several titles that the system says does not exist. (Honestly does any one not read graphic novels!) This does not include the fifty or so books that belong to my husband, who will NOT reread his texts books.  It does not include the large amount of children’s books that I haven’t gotten around to counting yet. 

 

But this large library, and counting, does make it difficult to move, especially when the owner realizes she might not need every title in the next year.  So the night after The Decision, I began to fill small boxes with as many books as I could back.  As I packed the books, I typed out the title of each book, making a list to tape to the top of the box.  And the system worked well until I ran out of boxes, and you just wouldn’t believe how hard it is to dumpster dive with two little ones.  They tend to want to bring home unsavory objects or cut themselves on syringes.  (Kidding.  Kidding.  You throw them in to fetch.)

 

Without boxes, I began to worry about the horrible mess of letting someone just heap books into boxes and not being able to find my very favorites when I needed them.  I did what any good wife would do; I nagged my husband.  During the times he didn’t tune me out, he suggested I get rid of some books.  I am, thank you very much, and I do, but I keep everything I will read again, and I do.  Then he would rant about how I had too many, and I would remind him why I have so many.  Soon I wished he had ignored me like usual.

 

There is a reason for the large library other than my intense love for the written word.  Years ago when my husband and I were just shacking up, we combined our moneys early because we were engaged.  As the honeymoon was over, my husband would leave to hang out with his buddies, which wasn’t a big deal, except I was young, bored, and had few friends that stayed in the area after they graduated.  After several stupid arguments, I came up with a brilliant plan.  Believing that a lot of my grief was because I was a saver and he was a spender, I decided that every time he went out drinking, I would go to the bookstore.  At first, he was against the plan, saying “You’re never going to read those books again; it’s a waste of money.”  “Well, you’re never going to drink those beers again; at least I have something to show for spending the money.”  Then I went to the bookstore.

 

In the end, I had to give up writing all the titles on the boxes and move on to just writing the type of books, like religious or parenting.  I had one box marked with my favorites.  Written on top of the box was “Favorite books; lose this box and I own your soul.”  They were in the office waiting for me when I arrived and were the first ones on the book shelves.  Of course, there’s a huge possibility that I’m going to have to move the bookcase.  Damn.

 

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Becoming a Reader

Before I start a “Books I Absolutely Love and Don’t Give a Crap if Anyone Else Does” list, I just want to let every one know what kind of reader I am and to give hope to parents that don’t have readers.

 

As a kid, I hated reading.  HAT-ED it!  It was a constant struggle for my mom to motivate my brothers and me.  During the summer, we had to read a half an hour a day along with a couple of workbook pages.  My mom would go to the library with us, pulling books off the shelves, trying to sell us on the back cover summary or the picture on the front.  “This is about princesses.  Faemom, you like princesses.  Brother, you’ll like this one; it’s about bears” And so on. 

 

One of the reasons I hated reading was I didn’t read very fast.  I read slowly and still do compared to my friends and old classmates.  It took me forever to read a book when I was young.  My mom finally admitted that she believed I had some sort of learning disorder as a kid, but she felt she could handle it and help me along.  Which might be why we had a love-hate relationship throughout most of my school years, cumulating to a head during the night before the weekly spelling test.  My mom turned out to be right; she found a way to make me a better reader and student.  Luckily I was blessed with a crazy retention rate, so once I slowly read something; it was pretty much lodged in my brain.

 

My sixth grade year I discovered reading.  I read A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.  I followed that up with The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatly Snyder.  I was hooked.  Why didn’t anyone tell me that books could be good?  I read Little Women in the branches of an apple tree.  I read The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare about half a dozen times.  I gobbled up Greek mythology, reading both The Iliad and The Odyssey, before high school.  I read scores of Madeleine L’Engle’s books.  I learned about fantasy and science fiction books.   When I learned I didn’t have to rely on the boring school library devoid of any books for preteen girls other than The Babysitter’s Club for book reports, I nearly shouted for glee.

 

I read constantly, abandoning my cousins and brothers to tackle football at my Grandma’s house to read in the living room.  My reading got so bad that in high school my mom actually punished me by taking away my reading privileges for a semester, due to my sliding grades.  One of my best family vacation memories was reading every day in the back of the camper all the way from Arizona to Virginia, but my mom has always believed that I did it out of teenage angst for not wanting to be with the family.  The worst thing about college, aside from the home sickness and stalking, was that I had to put away my books to do all the reading for classes.  But on breaks I would race to the library the very day I got off the plane.

 

I believe reading is for everyone; they just have to find the right book.  My baby brother doesn’t read, but as soon as he told me about a book he was interested in, I dragged him to the nearest book store and bought it for me.  He still says that it’s the only book he’s finished reading since high school.  (So any one has any suggestions for a guy who loves sports but hates biographies?)  My mom is a reader and reads those trashy romance novels.  Did I say trashy?  I meant HISTORICAL romance novels.  Hell, she found my birth name in one.  But she did test out of freshman English when she went back to college, and she knows a surprising amount of period history and customs.  I can’t make fun because I love fantasy books and a good vampire books.  Nothing of real value for a serious English student.  Oh, well.  So when the next post comes up, you can read what I absolutely love, and I’ll try to keep it fewer than fifty.  I know I’m not that interesting.

 

And as for my boys, right now they love reading.  I buy them books all the time, hoping to keep them engaged in books.  I figure we have a fighting chance because both my husband and I love to read.  Here’s hoping.