I moved the bookcases from our bedroom into the landing, for the purposes of the Estate Agent photos (all done now, and I will post them as soon as I have them in my possession).
The bookcases are big and deep and double filled. It took aaaages to empty and move them. And that’s not the half of it, the big cupboards in the front room are full of books, the unit in the hallway is stuffed, the cupboard in the bedroom houses a secret stash. There’s a wall shelf in the bedroom, and one in the kitchen. Then there are all the books on both my Kindles.
I can’t help it. I adore them. Years ago I had a ruthless cull and regretted it instantly. I rebought pretty much every one I discarded and hugged them close by way of apology. I cherish each and every one of them. It’s an eclectic mix: bodice rippers, autobiographies, classics, psychology textbooks, graphic novels, collections by my favourite authors, bestsellers, books by local authors, books written by my friends, highbrow, lowbrow and everything in between. A few are pristine and handled with kid gloves (like my hardback illustrated Stardust and my new Walking Dead compendium). Others (most, to be fair) are dog eared and bathwater-wrinkled. You can distinguish Rob’s paperbacks from mine by my broken spines and folded corners (he HATES this and thinks I’m a book heathen) but for me books are there to be read, reread and enjoyed and only a chosen few get the delicate treatment (the pretty ones, really). I usually fall asleep on whichever book I’m currently living in, at the moment it’s A Dance With Dragons and that hardbacked beast is HEAVY when I doze off and drop it on myself.
In case it’s not obvious, I LOVE reading. I always have. I’ll pretty much read anything, although I have my favourites, mostly Neil Gaiman and Marian Keyes, who between them cover a fairly broad spread of genres. Occasionally I’ll find a book I’d forgotten about, and dive into it gratefully. One of the most wonderful feelings in the world is rereading an old favourite to discover you have forgotten the ending and get to discover it all over again. There really should be a word for that.
I can’t even bear to get rid of books I hated, just in case I want to try them again. The Slap, for example. I hated it. I barely got halfway through before giving up. But maybe one day it’ll be the right time for me to read it and there it’ll be, on my shelf, ready for me. This is why I am drowning in books. It’s an addiction.
I thought having a Kindle would help, but all that’s happened is that I’ve bought hard copies of books I’ve enjoyed digitally. Which is sensible really, because if the zombie apocalypse happens I’ll still have m’books. You know it makes sense.
Fortunately, the new house has a whole room for them. I’ve been browsing the Ikea website and planning my shelving solutions. Hours of joy, and a whole Pinterest board in the making. A room with a sofa and a wall of bookshelves. Yes folks, I’m going to have a LIBRARY. I may never leave it. And I’ll have room for even more new books…