I’ve been reading Mary Carlomango’s book Live More, Want Less slowly over a period of months. It’s organized into 52 chapters and my initial intent was to read a chapter a week (as the author suggested), then implement the “action items” listed at the end of each chapter to help pare down my belongings, hopefully simplifying my life in the process. I started off okay, but then lost track of which week I was ‘supposed’ to be on, so now I’m picking it up occasionally and reading at random.
The chapter about books came at exactly the moment that I most needed it. Currently I have books in many locations throughout the house. Now I am emptying out the room to use as an office that contained the bookcase and about half of our (okay, mostly my) books. In our first home, we added on a room (not just for the books!) and my husband had a bookcase built to fit on a wall that was very tall and very wide and accommodated all of my books: past, present, and future. When we moved the big bookcase wouldn’t fit anywhere in the new house, so we found a smaller one at a yard sale which I am still using.
At first I thought I”d be able to reduce my collection and make it fit the space I had available, and I did that. Unfortunately, over the years I have amassed books. I’ve been sort of stuck for the past few days as I tried to decide about what to do with not only the bookcase (where to put it in the now empty room) but also the books on it, on top of it, and in the basket along side it (full disclosure: there are more in my closet, under my bed, and in the built-in bookcase in the bedroom…oh, and in the kitchen!). When I posed this question to my husband, he said, “Maybe you don’t put the bookcase back in at all…”
That brought me up short.
Maybe I was asking the wrong question! What if I don’t put the bookcase back at all? In that case I would have (at least)one different question: What to do with the books?
To be continued…