Monday, July 30, 2007

Too Many Books?

I used to congratulate myself on not being a materialistic person.

Oh Lord, I thank you I am not like the rest of men, amassers of money, clothes, electronics. . .

But after I had packed over 100 boxes of books (at which point I lost count), I began to wonder. I had always considered books to be the least worldly of possessions because they seemed to be the least tangible. Sure, they take up physical space, but what are they really? Not cardboard and paper. They are the incarnation of someone's thoughts, dreams, wisdom or imagination. When we write -- especially fiction -- we come closest to imitating God the Creator, in whose likeness we are made.

When God creates he makes something out of nothing, bringing matter itself into existence by an act of thought and will. Writing is as close as we can come to creating, using words to embody our thoughts and bringing into being somthing that did not exist before.

But is it possible to have too many books? I'm still not sure, but I did do some weeding as I packed.

Months have passed, and the continental mass has shrunk to a major island, the dining room has returned to the function for which it was intended, and the bedchamber, now the library annex, could actually hold a bed if there weren't so many bookshelves in it. The main portion of the library is housed in what was originally a master bedroom. I've removed the sliding doors from the huge (157 inches wide!) closet and filled the resulting alcove with five BILLY bookcases from Ikea. Matching bookcases line the other three walls, and there is a double row of short ones running down the center of the room.

As you can see, it's starting to look like a real library. I feel very peaceful when I sit at my computer (just off-screen to the left), surrounded by my books.


A. Noël said...

I have read your post and am grinning in recognition of a sister soul.

I, too, have converted a bedroom into a library.

I am also a Catholic with a catholic library ... though neither designation may be taken as meaning either "perfect," "complete," or "consistently used." Heh.

Best wishes to you in your new house and with your new blog.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...


Do you also like to scan a person's bookshelves when visiting? (I do.)

A. Noël said...

Of course - if there are any. ;)