Monday, January 07, 2008

Book, Books and More Books

Christmas brought me another stack of books for the nightstand long before I finished the last stack.

Irreligion by John Allen Paulos
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
The Universe by Leo Marriott
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
World Changing edited by Alex Steffen

I have to be intrigued by a book like World Changing which starts with a section named "Stuff," a concept I use frequently. The book begins:

Our things define us.
What we buy, what we use, what we keep and throw away, what we waste and what we save; the stuff that surrounds us and flows through our lives is a key indicator of the kinds of lives we're living. To be an affluent twenty-first-century person is to float on a sea of material objects -- each with its own history and future.

The following 600 pages are crammed with information about worldwide environmental issues and suggestions for effecting change.

It's that time of year again when I struggle to fit the books onto existing bookshelves. All I managed yesterday was to reduce the risk of the stacks on top from toppling over.

My father built this bookcase when I was about ten years old, from clear pine boards with shelves carefully designed (probably by my mother) to hold the maximum number of various sizes of books. The tall shelves at the lower right used to hold the Encyclopedia Britannica.

I cleaned my closet last week. (Look, no skeletons.) It's easier 'cause I don't like clothes that much. Give me a couple of pairs of jeans, a couple of pairs of dress pants, half a dozen shirts, a jacket and I'm good to go. Maybe there's some room for books here...

But really, books and clothes are both easy because I know where to sell them or give them away. I've got a whole room full of other stuff I don't know what to do with. I'm going to try the two "used stuff" stores I know about - one in Dryden and one just south of Ithaca. Wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

Allow me to suggest that you read a book that explains to you how people swear in bars and how they are allowed to; the people that don't like it should stay home.

Anonymous said...

It's not people's things that define them. It is their integrity, kindness, benevolence and strength of character; although I completely understand why you are unfamiliar with those concepts. Forget cleaning your closet and attempts to appear "well-read"; and consider looking at your conduct and manipulation of isolated, vulnerable older men. You do have skeletons in your closet and they are not going to remain there if you continue on your current path.