My apartment only has airconditioning in the bedroom, so when summer is +35 degrees for more than three days I retreat to my bedroom with my tablet to reconsider my life choices.
Last summer, I binged the Marie Kondo show about tidying up, while sweating profusely and glaring out the window at the sun. When the show finished it was still too hot to even think about being more than three feet from the air con, so I Kondo-folded my socks. (What’s amazing is, over a year later and I still Kondo-fold my socks. UN. PRECENDENTED).
On an emergency trip to the fridge for cider to keep up my strength, I passed by my bookshelves and paused. Because here’s the thing. I have a lot of books. Like, A LOT. I once counted them once when I was half drunk one night, and said that if I got to over 200 books I’d think about doing a purge. Once I got to 400, I started to feel slightly sheepish.
So when I wandered past my bookshelves on my way back to the sweet sweet air conditioning, I decided I would see just how many of my books actually sparked joy. And in my defence, my first sweep of the bookshelf saw about 20 books go to the op-shop There were books left over from my Extremely Practical and Incredibly Beneficial To My Job degree in English Literature that I’d never read. A few books that contained the world Girl in their title went***. Dan Brown went (sorry Dan Brown).
I felt encouraged! I was achieving things! I was sparking joy!
Then of course I bought about 20 books and was back to square one because I cannot help myself. Books are the best. I love books. I buy books because I’m having a bad day. I buy books because I’m having a good day. I buy books because I’ve got an hour to kill and there’s a bookshop right there.
Since iso though, I’ve been at my desk, which is next to my bookshelves and I have been forced to admit that this needs attending to. So the journey to the end of my bookshelves has begun. I’m two books in, and alas both are keepers.
Silk by Alessandro Barrico is one of my absolutely favourite books, and one that I will never lend to anyone. It tells the story of French silk merchant Hervé Joncour, and his yearly visits to Japan to purchase silk worms. While he’s in Japan he meets a mysterious woman, who he becomes completely enamored with although they never speak. It’s such a beautiful book.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho I’m surprised I’m keeping. I wouldn’t have said it was a very me book, but I actually really enjoyed it. Maybe it’s timing – it’s nice to read something uplifting about finding your destiny when the whole world is literally falling apart. (I zoned out a bit at the end though if I’m honest).
2 books down, god knows how many to go.