I need to organize and clean my basement.
Now, "organize" and "clean" are not words I throw around lightly. I have never been a good organizer, and if there's anything I hate more than cleaning, I have yet to find it. Going to doctors, I suppose, but that's about it. But, due to the generosity of my sisters, who had kids before me, we now have boxes of clothing and toys downstairs for CRjr to grow into.*
So I'd like to get things down there in order. Our basement is actually quite cozy; not really "finished" but with a nice enough linoleum tile floor and carpets and paneling. The older gentleman who lived here with his wife before us was a librarian, so he even had some bookshelves down there, a few of which he left.**
Last night I was down there shifting some things around, and for the first time in years I started going through some of my books. Now, you should know I have always had this dream of having my own mini-library on a variety of different subjects. I always thought if I did have kids it would be nice for them to have some shelves to browse at home (as I often browsed my parents' shelves). To that end I used to pick up used books here and there on a variety of subjects. I even had little sections going: philosophy, world history, war history, fiction classics, religion, biographies, humor, letter collections, New York City, etc.
But now? When I look around my mini-"library" I just feel sad. I guess I feel like CRjr will probably not want to browse bookshelves, and if he does like reading, he'll probably just want a Kindle or iPad like all the other kids around him will have. I am not a big believer in personal possessions and have tried to keep things as simple as possible around here, but, as with food, I have always had a book policy of "more, please." Now I just think, maybe these are more personal possessions just loading me down. Maybe I should get rid of these too.
Sigh. Forgive my melodrama. I don't know what is UP with me and books lately. I think even looking at print books just makes me think of e-books, and that makes me cranky. It's just that you only find so many perfect things in your life, and to me, books are perfect. I love the way they feel, the way they're easy to use, the way they never need to be updated or rebooted or shut down, the way their spines and covers become familiar like old friends. The way they make a room feel warmer and cozier just by sitting around. The way you can browse a finite collection of books and feel like you can start to get a handle on the many things there are on this earth to know about. The way you can take time with one, sitting and sitting and sitting, but still going anywhere you want with words, and not interrupting your thoughts with hyperlinks and email beeping and, god forbid, ads popping up.*** I'm going to miss all that.
*For this I am eternally grateful to my sisters. Actually, I may hate shopping even more than I hate cleaning, and having boxes of kids' clothes in the basement will help keep my shopping to a minimum.
**He also had a TV and chair down there, and called it his bunker. He was a little apprehensive about their planned move to Arizona, as their new house wouldn't have a basement, and we think he liked having a bunker away from his wife, who was nice enough, but who was, to use a loaded word, a "character."
***Have I said it lately? Fuck you, Amazon.