Without fail, our movers remark on the number of book boxes they're hauling around. The ones we had this time were not accusatory (some get quite huffy), but sort of curious. "Have you read all these books?" "What do you do with all of them?" "You must have your own library."
I said that we had read most of them, leaving out the explanation of how there's a good section of reference works that we have not read cover-to-cover. Or that I have multiple editions of different texts.
It is a library of sorts, akin to what one finds in the homes of most serious students of the Humanities. Very similar to what I grew up with, although smaller than my father's collection as of yet. I just can't imagine living without books all over the house.
When I was in junior high, I made friends with a girl who was in several of the same classes and activities. In retrospect, I realized that she was the first close friend I had who did not come from an academic family--all of my other friends were children of teachers or professors. The first time I went to her house, I was struck by how decorated it was. And the lack of bookcases. I don't think there was more than one or two low bookcases in the family areas. My friend had one tall, skinny bookcase with a few books on it. It was not an issue of money--her family had much more than mine--or even intelligence, they just didn't keep books around.
We still have stacks of book boxes in half of our garage. We got the office to a point where we could bring in a couple of our bookcases and some books. And that goes a long ways towards making the room seem right. Once our painter is done in the master bedroom, I know how I want to rearrange things to fit my grandmother's old bookcase against one wall. I also can't wait to make use of the built-ins in our living room, conveniently next to my study area.
And I promised Scooter that I would find his books. We have a handful out for bedtime reading, but he's missing that moment of looking at all of his books in front of him, full of possibility, so many choices.
Off to bring in some books.