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BETWEEN THE LINES

Shelving books

I’ve always wanted a room in my house totally devoted to my books. A library. Can you picture it? Floor to ceiling wooden bookshelves, a reading lamp on a small table, a cup of tea, cat on my lap. Once I went to an Open House in my Springfield neighborhood and there was a library, complete with a fireplace (is that good for books?) and those spiffy rolling library ladders. Swoon.

Six weeks ago we moved into a condo. Downsizing. It’s two rooms smaller than the house we left. So my books (alphabetized of course) weaved through the house. A to D waited in boxes. E to J in the dining room, K to O in the alcove between the bedrooms, P to S in my writing room, and on to Z in our bedroom. But yesterday we came home from vacation to ten feet of floor to ceiling maple bookshelves built into the hallway in the new condo. Built not by elves, but by our master carpenter friend David. Now, A through O are happy on the new shelves, and the rest still at home on other shelves.

There’s a metaphor in there, somewhere, I think. Maybe something about how books are part of every moment of my life. Or perhaps how, when I’m writing a novel manuscript, the narrative weaves through the minutes of my day. Or maybe no useful metaphor at all, just the profound pleasure of beloved books on wooden shelves. Alphabetized, of course.
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