Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Land of Boxes and Stray Books

Remember how harmonious the last kitchen photo seemed? Well, of course, it was taken prior to the delivery of most of my belongings, so it was a bit unnatural. The kitchen quickly began to look like the following photo, and rapidly transmogrified into a complete disaster area, since although there are many cupboards, it's hard to know where anything ought to go. I mean, most of the storage is out of my reach or too narrow or shallow to accommodate what I might want to put inside. On the plus side, I discovered that there is a lazy susan. Major bonus points there! (Although I wish it could have been a full round one rather than 3/4.)

The dining room is in recovery from being The Land of Full Boxes, but I am not sure that being The Land of Empty Boxes is much better. Yes, there is a so-called "mudroom" and it is also full of boxes. (Is "mudroom" a recently invented term or has it been around for more than ten years? It's used copiously in every home design magazine I've read in recent years and I am wondering whether Martha Stewart invented it. She did not, I am sure, invent the concept.) The mudroom/laundry room has to reserve space for bike and rabbit area.

Moving right along to the living room, although most people will probably see it first, books are gradually finding their way onto shelves, although not in a very coherent order. The main thing has been to get them in some approximation of the right place, not to get them exactly right on the first try. Besides, there's not a real exactly right about book placement. Shelving by topic wars with shelving by approximate size. Besides, even shelving by topic is tricky. Do we want Alberti shelved with Italian Renaissance or with architecture? Do we want Paula Modersohn-Becker's diary shelved with German art, biography, or women artists? This problem worsens with the history books, although they are fewer in number. Should all history simply go upstairs in my office, or can some of it stay in the dining room? Can we just have Central and Eastern European history upstairs, or just women's/gender/sex history? Why am I separating histories of European paganism from the fairytale books? I am so glad not to be a librarian. No classification system will ever fully satisfy me. And, considering that most of my theater and film books are boxed up in California, how did I end up with so many such books here, which clearly need to go together? (Or should those on the avant-garde, or on Czech film and theater, go somewhere else?!)

My office, rapidly becoming a repository of boxes of miscellaneous papers (not shown!), is coming along well enough in other respects. The tall bookcase is pretty much entirely filled with Czech art books, although there is some overflow (five of said books are much too big to fit on its shelves and sit on the desk). The desk is home to lots of dictionaries and related books, in the optimistic belief that I will actually use them rather than merely regard them as a kind of security feature.

And it all continues. After all, that mudroom has to be prepared to hold a new two-story bunny condo (bought on the theory that the rabbits might enjoy it as a special place to hang out), and the downstairs in general has to be prepared for their arrival on the seventeenth. Meanwhile, of course, there's no shortage of academic sort of work to do, unfortunately. I certainly hope I don't have to move again next summer.

1 comment:

  1. The stack of boxes in photo two is very impressive. You are also very brave to devote so much of your post to book organizing! European paganism books should go with your collection of apocalyptic prophesy texts, under Obama/Hitler/Stalin. ;o)