Thursday, January 3, 2008

Unpacking Books

It just goes to show that people do not care about your stuff as much as you do.

I've been unpacking boxes upon boxes of books. Normally, this is not a burden for me because, in most cases, it's like discovering the books I've meant to read for years all over again. Sometimes it's like saying hello to new friends.

Now, due to my current 'preggers' condition, the packing of the books fell to well-meaning relatives. My mother, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, husband, and various nieces and nephews did the book-packing. Unfortunately, not a single soul of them knew my organization theory behind the books. First editions had their own place, Harry Potter had his (in theory, I've been reading those off and on throughout the year).

As I unpack now and put the books on the shelves in a haphazard manner that makes me want to cry (and I really do want to cry, it's not an exaggeration) I find myself getting even more frustrated. It's not only my own system that is out of whack, but Shane's books are mixed in with mine as well. Instead of greeting old friends that I selected and found a place for, I am confronted with these weird strangers: yearbooks that don't have my name in them, brochures to places I've never been, programs to shows I've never seen, and books that I wouldn't pick up if left to my own devices are now mixed in with my old, sloppy favorites. To be honest, it's like finding a stranger's underwear in my own underwear drawer.

This is not Shane's fault. It is no one's fault. The group that packed did a ton more than I could have. However, I'm disoriented. Does that make sense? I'm used to Stephen King being here on this shelf--the Gunslinger series all together, the Series of Unfortunate Events all together, first editions there, mass market paperbacks here, and the non-fiction section right there. The map is all backward. And don't misunderstand...I have probably upward of four hundred books total and I knew where every last one of them was supposed to go. Now I can't even find them.

2 comments:

  1. Argh. I understand, believe me. I'd be happy if I could find my bookshelves downstairs. Remember that you can move them around a little at a time until they are where they belong. In the meantime, consider that maybe the universe is sending you a nudge. Maybe there's a book of Shane's that you should pick up.

    And, above all, remember that it's temporary.

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  2. Strange how some things (often pretty minor) can upset our balance so easily.

    It makes complete sense, though. Think about it like an English Major, with the books as a symbol. You're in the midst of moving to a new place in a different town, with a new roommate, and getting ready for a new baby. Any one of those things is stressful, and you're wrestling them all at once.

    The books have been a touchstone for you, and now you don't have them to lean on. I don't think the pregnancy-related hormones are helping, either.

    Take a breath, or three, step back, and give Shane and Owen a hug. Then, perhaps enlist one or both of them to help you straighten out the book chaos - or go it alone, if that'd work better. Your books may be a mess now, but they can be put back into order.

    With all the unpacking to be done, you've got to start somewhere. Why not start with your bookshelves?

    By the way, I'm on break and getting bored, so if you want help, just give me a call.

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