Last week = whirlwind. Holy cow, my sister got a job in Singapore. She’ll be gone for two years and I’ll be stuck here *whimpers* with *whimpers* nothing *whimpers* but *whimpers* the *whimpers* books on my shelf!
Oh no. Oh yes.
So what do people do with their books when they migrate? Or live elsewhere for long periods of time? I like to think about traveling much because I love it so but the logistics of it all hadn’t occurred to me until now. Reason Number One has to do with creepy crawlers. My floor is termite infested enough as it is and just thinking about other creatures (apart from myself) having a jab at these precious books makes me tick. Then there’s the homey, “I’m glad you’re home” feel that the books give when I get in.
Can you imagine leaving your shelf for a good year or two? I can’t seem to or at least I try to but fail the moment it feels real. The allure of travel is always doubled by the promise of coming home and it was only when the inventory was drafted two years ago that I truly realized just how much lies in this shelf. I’d amassed these over the years and I couldn’t be happier. It isn’t a huge collection but it’s enough to make me want to come home and that matters right?
Sometimes when I’m out I think about my shelf. There’s this mid-conversation lull when I see visions of the shelf and develop an itch to run home. I hate this because it means I’m not present with those I’m with and there isn’t really a way to hide that. Sometimes I imagine closing the door forever or changing it into one with holes for food and other parcels that way I never have to leave.
But then I think about hugs, trees and really great conversations that I can’t have in the privacy of these walls. I live on hugs and while the view of the neighbor’s trees soothes me, I can’t imagine not being able to touch barks and pick up leaves. I think about how much I love trees and I wonder what’s greater, books or trees? There’s no real competition but just so we’re clear, I doubt if I’d ever love trees as much if I hadn’t read about them first or read about those people who loved them so.
Conversations on the other hand are rich when reading–when this great wall between the writer and the reader collapses because the weight of an idea is enough to make these two feel as one. It happens many times and often I find myself talking to Rilke or Thoreau, sometimes even Bradbury even if he’s still alive. Yet, I envy those who can inhabit books and are inhabited too by these strange things. Remember the book people in Fahrenheit 451 who knew the books by heart and didn’t need them in their actual physical form? I wonder if I can ever be like them…these days it takes genuine effort to remember what’s written on the page. It’s as if nothing strikes me as much as it used to, not even the words. 😦 But I love them still, you know? The lover need not always know what the beloved is or is not. It’s the mystery that gets us hooked and once you pop a book open and read it, there’s really no turning back. You’ll crave for more ideas and want to read everything you can find!
I guess this means I’m staying put but anyway, there’ll be time to sort these thoughts out. I’d love to know what you’d do though…would you really leave the books that long?