Summer blossomed in South Carolina with all its usual heat and humidity, and the outlook promises more to come next week in addition to thunderstorms and intermittent heavy rains for several days. But the good news is this gives me time to catch up on correspondence, do a stack of editing, finish reading two books I started last week, and maybe, just maybe, I'll get a little writing done as well. And then there is cleaning my study. (loud sigh)
I clean my study twice a year: January and June. That means not just sorting through old files, stacks of newsletters, magazines, and jotted down notes and quotes I've long forgotten why I wrote down in the first place, but it also means going through the book shelves and sorting the keepers from the give-aways. Books breed in my study....truly they do. Two shelves hold books "to be read," yet every six months the shelves bow lower because I add more books than I read. (And that's not counting the kindle purchases.)
I know why this happens. I confess I am a bibliophile and a hoarder of books. It's as if my subconscious says, "Hey, stock up on reading material because the zombies will invade and destroy all bookstores, and you'll have nothing to read!!!!!" So the end result is that I always end up with more to read than I have read.
It's my life.
I accept it.
My husband has learned to live with it.
But the most difficult part of all this cleaning out is deciding what to keep and what to donate. I fall in love with some books (I am not monogamous in that respect). I fall irrevocably in love forever and ever, and I have to have those on my shelf because to not have them would be to suffer untold grief over the loss of something that has become a real part of ME.
And so the problem grows: too many books, too few shelves. The Friends of the Library and various school libraries are so happy to see me in January and June. They know I bring gifts--free and highly recommended. And I derive great joy and satisfaction passing on my beloved friends, but it is still hard, I tell you, to hand over that volume that suffered the cut in the decision of which one do I love most and "have to" keep.
I know there are others out there with this same issue, and that brings me joy. Joy because as long as there are readers and hoarders, our work as writers will always be a necessity. We will always be needed, wanted, and loved by someone, somewhere.
And in this whirlwind world we live in, it's comforting to know we will not become obsolete.