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January 3, 2011: Reading

Pete’s been working on the kitchen, building new shelves under the stairs, and under the front window. This is just one small part of a major kitchen renovation. The shelf project has (thankfully) created much-needed storage space. Reorganization has followed on the heels of his efforts. We agreed that books could be stored in the space under the counter. And so, the other night, I began what became a massive sort, essentially focusing on books, and moving them from one place to another.

I moved books from the living room into the kitchen bookshelves. This made for space in the living room bookshelves. I

Upstairs bookcase
Upstairs bookcase

then went upstairs, and then moved books from the bedroom bookshelves to the living room bookshelves. I then moved books that were just lying around onto various shelves. I also made three additional stacks, one of books to read soon, one of books to finish, and another of other books. I put the first two on the windowsill by the door of the kitchen addition. I’ll take the latter out to my work cabin and shelf them in the spring.

As I worked, I threw out stuff that accumulated between, around, under, and above books; magazines, seed and horse catalogues, and instruction manuals included. It was in some instances, a tough call deciding what to keep or toss. Pete, who remained focus on his construction project during all this, said we should hang on to “How to Prepare for the Upcoming Influenza Epidemic,” and so I refrained from tossing it into the recycling bin. After all, you never know when you’re going to have an influenza epidemic—they just kind of seem to come and go.

Before shelving, I wiped the dust off books that haven’t been handled in some time. Our place now feels, if not looks, a whole lot more orderly. As importantly, I now have a better sense of what books are where. This further bolsters my resolution, which is to keep reading what we have on hand, and not purchase any more new books. The only exception is back volumes of The Great American Essays, for I am missing a few copies.

This is going to be tough, because books are everywhere. I will have to stay out of bookstores, and as well, keep myself from going to the bookstore app on my new iPad. And too, stay out of the library. As I write this, I find myself wavering. I next want to read Jane Smiley’s Horse Heaven. Been thinking about going to the library and picking up a copy.

Next: 29. 12/4/12: Temperature