There are stacks in the bedroom, on the side table in our living room, along one wall in the small hallway, right when you enter the apartment. Behind the couch are more, just growing there as new titles are added every few days. My small library, those few choice books I brought with me to Germany all those long years ago, has grown.
Not that this is a problem, but someone – who shall remain nameless – has been looking at me out of the corner of her eye as if to say it’s about time I did something with all these books, which seem to litter although there is some form of order. It’s about time that I moved them to better places, so that we can vacuum without risk. It would be good, her gaze seems to say, when we get to see a few table tops again, when there isn’t the risk of everything falling over.
Photo Credit: Maarten Takens – Creative Commons
This week I took things into hand. I began sorting through the titles, arranging the stack anew, getting some form of order into the whole. We invested in some new bookshelves, although probably not enough to accommodate every single work, and I began trying to see exactly what I have. Each opened book, each book which I even rest my fingers on, has its own story, its own history. None of them are leaving this apartment, none of them will be banished, given away or sold. But there has to be some form of order and so I have begun listing them properly. I’m nowhere near complete with the work, it will take a long time and I still want to be able to read, to write, to do other things. In between all the other pleasures of life, I note their names, the author, in which language they are written. I don’t know when, if ever, the task will have an end but, at the moment, there are one thousand two hundred and forty-three books listed.
And all she says, as space begins to appear once more, as order comes back into our lives, as the risk of an avalanche of paper recedes, is that she can hardly believe I have enough time to read so much.
Love & Kisses, Viki.