Tip #28: Books.
well, that’s not a tip. it’s more of a sigh. books.
in our tiny apartment my relationship with books goes something along the lines of can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
before moving to new york, james and i always had an apartment filled with books. we had favorite childhood books and favorite college books, and a rotating cast of mandatory graduate school books and a sizable collection of oversized and exasperating art books. our various homes have been so full of books that we even developed a really fun game wherein i organized books according to subject and height and author’s last name, and james shoved them back in the shelves at random for me to find later. thrills!
yesterday, i had lunch with my brilliant friend reina (who is also a tiny apartment dweller in this large city) and she asked me what i do with my books. i’m sure my face fell. the truth is, we haven’t come up with a very good solution. mostly, we forced them onto our parents, surreptitiously off-loading boxes into attics and basements of their more spacious homes. but the problem is this: we haven’t been able to truly keep the books at bay. they creep back in. it’s too easy to slink into our neighborhood bookstore and bring half of it home. once the books are here they mostly land in a small pile on top of our dresser or they get shoved indecorously into the spot between the bed and the wall. it’s a bad scene. but here, a few book-related tips, from someone who admittedly hasn’t mastered this:
1. this one strikes again: hold on to what you love, part with what you don’t. even if, like us, you don’t have room for an actual bookshelf, keep around a book or four that you really love. you never know when you might need them. when you do accumulate new books, think carefully about what you keep. pass what you’ve read onto a sister or a friend or a used book store. if you have the time or patience, sell them online (and have it out with your author friends re: royalties).
2. so does this one: rotate your goodies. especially those big art books. choose one or two to keep out, and put the others in a box under your bed. when you get tired of le corbusier, ogle some o’keeffe.
3. get a library card.
4. make like one of my sisters and invest in a kindle.
5. revisit that tiny space between your bed and the wall and see if you can’t actually wrangle something that approximates a book shelf (yes, this one’s mostly for me).