If you click the photo you can see the notes I added in flickr. Or see every title here
One of the things I’ll miss about living in a smaller home, is the fact that it forces you to sift through your belongings on a regular basis. Before Christmas and birthdays I take loads of toys to Goodwill in order to make room for the inevitable new items. AndyZ and NikkiZ share a room. If I left every toy in there that anyone had ever purchased for them, there would be no room for beds, cribs, or dressers. It’s already a tight squeeze as it is, and it’s a large room. Clothes also have to be weeded out when new items are purchased. I very rarely put a new item in my drawers or on the rack until an old item has been thrown in the donation bin. We are at capacity in this home. At least at a capacity I’m comfortable with – because I still am a fan of empty spaces. Our attic is full. There are no cars in our garage because it is used for things like kayaks and canoes and bikes and lawnmowers. This limited space means that if something isn’t used or cherished, it is sent off to be used or cherished by someone else. THIS IS A GOOD THING. We should all do this because the things that are sitting untouched in your kitchen, in your child’s toybox, or in your husband’s dresser – those things could be used and loved by someone less fortunate than you.
So – these are the only bookshelves in our home designated for MrZ and I. (Each child has their own bookshelf in their room.) As MrZ and I both really like owning our favorite books, we often buy more books to add to these shelves. There’s several books from a matching set from my grandparent’s home and I also kept a substantial stack of my Dad’s books. (The rest were donated). These factors had our bookshelves overflowing up until last week. I finally went through every book on every shelf and kept those which are truly our favorites. Either because we love the words, or because we’re sentimentally attached to the books themselves. I took pictures of the shelves as I feel like they say so much about us. We’re obviously Geographers by study as we can’t part with many of our old college textbooks. Someone is a huge fan of the Young Adult Fiction section. There’s many spiritual, health, and political books – separated by more poetry than the law should allow. We even have an old-school Plane Trigonometry text book. (Can you guess who that belonged to?) I just love these shelves. I love that there’s random kitschy items on there as well as puzzle boxes. It’s just a great snapshot of who we are as a family, and I love it.
We hope to be moving into a bigger home soon. One that will probably allow us more room for books. While part of me giggles with excitement over this possibility, another part will be sad to see the condensed reflections of our personalities that only a small home can create. I’d like to think I’ll still be diligent about weeding out stuff other people can make better use of, but will I really be if I’m not forced to by limited space? Probably not. Lord knows I’ve lived in much smaller places in the past yet I had no problem filling this house to capacity in five years.
In my defense, we’ve also added two humans to the mix in those five years. That’s gotta give me some sort of an excuse, right?
So. Our shelves. Aren’t they nice? Now…I’ve shown you mine. Will you show me yours?