She's tackling the most common writer clutter problem: Crowded bookcases.
Demonic Bookcases, Part 2
by Kathryn Ptacek
|One of my "supervisors"|
|Shelf 1, After|
The next day I started work on the second bookcase (D, E, F, G, and some H). That's finished, and I set out some teapots selectively and took photos. Now, I'm about to finish the third bookcase, and I've already swept everything off the last bookcase in the living room and the one in the dining room. The one in the front hall will have to wait a while. It seems to have ended up with a massive amount of things, some of them refugees from the other bookcases. I'm going to need a bigger box, I guess!
|Living Room, After|
Am I happy to be getting rid of some of these books? In one way, yes, because I feel a tad "lighter." I've heard people mention that they feel they have less of a burden on them when they dispose of something, and I can understand that. But I love my books, and I am parting reluctantly with them. All this would be solved, of course, if I could just swing some floor-to-ceiling bookcases. I have a Queen Anne–style Victorian, so the ceilings on the first floor are high, and those bookcases would be huge! As it is right now, I look at the foot-plus space over the doors and windows and think about all the books that could rest nicely there. Well, perhaps if I win the lottery ... Some books, though, I'm boxing up, such as the Ellery Queen paperbacks. I want to keep them, but I don't want that multi-book series on the shelves. Is this cheating? I'm not sure, but I can't have it both ways, I guess.
|Front Hallway, After|
And my goal? Not to allow the stuff to creep back onto the shelves. I want to display my collection of teapots. What's the sense of collecting something if you and your friends can't see it? That won't be easy, but I'll keep trying. The hardest thing, though, will be that when I buy a new book and bring it into the house, I know I'm going to have to get rid of at least one or two old books. But I'll manage. What's a few more books into the culled pile, right?
Of course, now I have all those boxes of shells and stones and keys to sort through ... That's my next challenge!
Kathryn's novels are now out as ebooks from Crossroad Press and Necon Ebooks. Her first collection of short stories, Looking Backward in Darkness, was released by Borgo Press in 2013. She has short stories in two recent anthologies: Fright Mare and Expiration Date.
She can be reached at email@example.com or through her Facebook pages.