Like an expectant mother with a nesting urge, the arrival of a new year brings out an organizing urge in me. My current project is weeding out books to donate to the library…to make room for new books. The public library here is wonderful, not only for its collection but for the fact one can actually find a parking spot. Our previous city had many things to recommend it but being able to easily go to the library was not one of them.
Fast-forward to an hour or so after I wrote the above. Instead of making more room, somehow when I went to reshelve I had less room. The downstairs rec room bookcases look better, but I’d been hoping to bring more bedroom books (not bedroom books!) down to fit in the Christmas gift books and the ones I just ‘splurged’ on at the mall sale.
I’m wheezing and frustrated. And when my husband offers to help, I growl at him. Literally. He’s caught up in his own project of making sugar-free cranberry applesauce while re-watching Season One of Lost with my mom. Years ago, he also got her hooked on watching motorcycle racing with him. Don’t ask. I’m sure someday the mother ship will return my real parent….
Anyway, why does everything have to be about subtext? Am I really flummoxed because I don’t have room for both volumes of Valerie Bertinelli’s ‘memoirs’ or is it because I wonder if I’ll be alive long enough to read all the books I own, let alone all the books I want to read? And write?
Years ago, I had a fantasy. I envisioned that when I was pregnant with my first child I would sit and do nothing but read. Fat chance. At that time I was teaching two classes at Northern Arizona University and taught practically up until delivery. By the time I was finished with grading each night, I was too tired to even pick up a book for pleasure. That year after Erik was born I read one book. Yep, one. Things did improve; I went back to book group, even made it through Bonfire of the Vanities, which said son is nearly done with now.
Now I have a new fantasy, one that involves reading at lunch each day before I sit down to write. I’m an afternoon worker. And for the first time, ever, all afternoons belong to me.
Maybe it really is just a book about a whale?