Sometimes I get this itch that I can’t exactly explain, but can only be cured by lounging on the couch or under the covers with a good book. I’ll read just about anything, but I do have a fiction quota that has to be met in order for me to remain balanced. I’m a slow and steady reader so, depending on what else is going on in my life, I only read about five to fifteen books a year. I love browsing at the local bookstore, reading book jackets and picking through the new paperbacks. Fortunately, I’m not usually tempted beyond one or two books at a time, and I like to complete any new books before I go out shopping for the next. And when I finish a book I’m usually very good about finding it a new home.
All of these habits have helped me keep my bookcases pretty clean over the past few years. That and the fact that, unlike Chris, I ended up on a career path that has nothing to do with my college degree, so I got rid of all but one of my audiology reference books years ago. Where his office is littered with graphic design books, I have an over-abundance of decorating and crafting books, but those always come in handy when I feel inspired. With our books mostly under control, our main weakness is magazines — we read through them but usually forget to throw them out when we’re done.
To celebrate today’s “unofficial” we did the obvious, and attacked the bookcases in our house. We started in my home office. I have a few bookcases, some holding records, but for the most part they were brimming with books and magazines. Chris helped me do a quick sweep of the magazines, getting them all together so I could weed them out based on title and date. I’d say I got rid of about two thirds of them in just a few minutes. Next, I perused the books and made a pile of a number of titles I’d already read. I don’t usually read the same book twice, so they all went in a box to go to Goodwill. This little bit of purging and organizing freed up a lot of space on my shelves. I love having room to grow! When we were done with my office, we headed upstairs to Chris’s home office. He has a large bookcase up there and it was also full of a lot of my old books, and a few of his art books. We took the same approach and ended up with a box of over 20 books to donate.
If Chris and I keep up with regular magazine purges, I think we’ll be able to put off celebrating Clean Out Your Bookcases Day again until 2012. He’s starting to read more on the iPad, and I’m going to keep trying to pass any good books along to my friends. But that doesn’t mean that, when I get that itch, you won’t find me at the bookstore!
Tomorrow is National Sticky Bun Day!