My home office is on the second floor of my house. There are two unused bedrooms and a full bath upstairs. In a word, it is the perfect retreat for work and writing. It’s not a great space for reading, but it does hold many of my books.
The north wall of the office contains four ladder style bookshelves–two sets next to the closet door, two sets next to the window, and a sofa table/bookshelf combo in the middle. The bookshelves are overflowing with books. And definitely don’t contain all of the books I have–not even close.
The set of bookshelves on the west side of the wall holds all the books from my doctoral work and any current professional books that haven’t made it into my classroom. There was order to this set of shelves–once. But each semester, things get pulled out, used, and moved around as I revise the syllabus for the grad class I teach.
The bookshelves next to that hold a potpourri of books that do have some importance to me–all of my Green Gables books from when I was a kid, random picture books and poetry collections (kids’ poetry collections in reality), fairy tales and alphabet books, and just a general mash up of stuff. The two book shelves on the east side of the wall hold signed collections of mostly contemporary YA books and some old favorites from childhood–The World of Pooh, The World of Christopher Robin, Free to Be You & Me.
And then there’s the sofa table/book shelf combo. This holds some signed YA on the top shelf. The bottom two shelves hold books that should go in my classroom library. They are waiting to be read.
There are times this shelf taunts me. I can see books that I want to read, but I haven’t had time to get to. There are books that I don’t know why I have except they seemed like a good idea at the time. There are books there I don’t want to read, BUT I know that one of my students probably does want to read it, so it’s there waiting for me.
I would like to read through these forty or fifty books in order to free up some shelf space to display some of my Juniper Books series. I would also like to free up space so that I don’t feel the weight of unread books dragging me down. I would also like to read them so I don’t feel so guilty about all the new books I’ve bought (like the two that I just ordered today–A Pho Love Story and This Is not the Jess Show).
And so I’ve devised a plan of sorts. I read one new book and one book from the shelf. I read one ARC and one book from the shelf. I read one new book and one book from the shelf. Slowly, ever so slowly, I’m chipping away at the books. When it feels like it’s insurmountable, I think about all the books I have book talked this year, and all I will continue to book talk–at least 90. I think about being able to put the right book in the right kid’s hands, and I turn back to my shelf for my next read.