I just spent the day cleaning out my bookshelves- too many books for too little space. It seems I’ve kept every book I ever enjoyed – not sure why. I probably should have been giving them to my local library, or selling them in a garage sale, but I didn’t. In my defense, I kept them all because I thought I might want to read them again one day. But since I kept buying more books that I couldn’t wait to read, this didn’t ever, or rarely ever, happened. So my shelves are overflowing with my treasures –beautifully bound classics, historical fiction (lots of these), fun reads, tear jerkers, bodice rippers (I admit it), even a few non-fiction books (memoirs, biographies and travelogues, oh my)…all books that I just could not give up.
However, life moves on and things change; now I only buy and read books on my Kindle. They are much less expensive and I can take as many books as I like with me everywhere. I don’t have to get sore arms holding a heavy book up in front of me in those dreadful airplane seats (never on take-off or landing, of course, except when the flight attendants aren’t looking). It also means I never have to deal with separation anxiety when I get rid of a book that I “might” read again. My Kindle holds 4,000 books and then there is always the Cloud. (Ah, so much to read and so little time).
However, here’s my problem. I once had a vision of my “dream library.” A room into which I could retreat when I retired; warm and welcoming, cozy and quiet, with walls lined with rich, cherry wood shelves, filled with all my treasured books. A room where I would sit in my favorite chair, in front of a crackling fire, listening to the sound track from Immortal Beloved, drinking a glass of wine, and reading to my heart’s content. But now I fear that such a glorious dream is no longer achievable. It will go the way of the horse and buggy (which I am too young to remember), or gathering the family around the small, black and white television on a Sunday night (which I will admit, I am old enough to recall). And I am afraid that telling my grandchildren about my dream will only draw stares of confusion or disbelief, as they sit there reading graphic novels on their tablets, watching Spiderman VII or Frozen III on a wall-sized flat screen, while talking on their smartphones.
Oh well. It was a lovely dream while it lasted. Perhaps all I need now is a cozy corner somewhere with a comfy chair where I will curl up with my Kindle – of course, I will still need a place to set down my glass of fine wine.
Cozy, quiet, wood shelves, treasured books…I say build that room! Your Kindle will work just fine next to a crackling fire. Occasionally form does trump function, and beauty is often more important than practicality. And your glass of wine is sure to taste better.