I often wonder if people have a crazy book collection likeI do. And I don’t mean the books on your shelf, but the books that live in your life. Like, if you go into my car there are Wired magazines and some Cooks Illustrated. There is also a book stuck in the trunk A Revelation in Hell given to me by an ex who wanted to convert me or something. Next to that book is part of the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay. Nestled next to that are books about the Vietnam war.
In my home, I have books in the bathroom - all snug inside of a kindle. In the closet there are books on illustrating and human form. Magazines about horses, dogs and cats. There are instruction manuals about scrap-booking and book binding. I also have books on makeup and books on rules for games.
In the kitchen there are the books about cooking, baking, decorating cakes and dough and ice cream and books by John Fowler and Mohammed: The Man and His Faith, plus a book about Chinese brush art.
In the living room there are strategy guides for video games and text books on making 3D models in that one program I hate. There are encyclopedias on horses and wolves and birds. I have a collection of Anne Rice books next to wedding magazines and Lisa Frank colouring books. I have books that are meant to be destroyed, books that are meant for me to write in and I never do. There are more books on drawing and an awesome book on Faeries. Sketch pads of all kinds and a thesaurus that I never use.
In my bedroom I have more text books on web design and coding. Dilbert books and Far Side books and comic books and books with kittens with cute sayings. I have a Robert Frost book of poetry and books about quantum physics and astrophysics and In Defense of Food. Under the bed are fictional books that I have loved since childhood.
I have all of these books plus more at the office - books on the creation of the universe and one about a love story. Books at my parent’s house, books at college with my younger siblings. Books that have escaped my grasp and went to someone else’s house. Books that were given away without permission (they are still my books. no one can tell me otherwise).
I read all of the books, sometimes one at a time and sometimes all at once. And I wonder, I wonder if we look at these books as and maybe they say something about a person all together. but if we look at them all apart they tell us something different.
People see me with a book about astrophysics and they think something about me. But the next time, I may be reading something from the Chronicles of Narnia or a Wrinkle in Time and it says something different. I haven’t quite figured out what means that I group together a book about fantasy illustration next to a book a bread making.
Sometimes, I look around the room and think, yeah, I got books that make sense but do they make sense when they are put next to one another. Maybe other people do have these books that live in their life - but possibly they just don’t live in their life like my books live in mine: everywhere and with abandon.
I just don’t think I could keep them any other way.