I bought a new bookshelf today to help accomodate the vast overflow of books that I've accumulated during the past year and a half at my apartment. Since I've moved in, I've aquired a couple hundred new books in all numbers of genres. I had a number of piles, then towers of books springing up in very strange places all over my apartment, and the time was needed to find them a new home. A trip to Staples later, and I found such a home, a five-shelf, seven foot tall tower bookshelf. After a little construction, it was up and running, and a couple hours later, it became home to all of my history, biography, geek, science and space books, all now proudly on display. The piles are now gone, and the remaining shelves have been freed up a little, so I'm not too afraid of them bursting apart any more under the stress of overburdened shelves.
I love books. I can't say why or how, really, but looking at my new shelf, now neatly organized by genre, then by author and title, I've found myself sitting and letting my eyes wander across the titles and the brightly coloured spines. There's one about the 82nd Airborne in Normandy, the British Military during the Victorian era, the Spitfire aircraft, the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, the Paris 1919 peace conference, Kit Carson, the origins of the US Navy, Smallpox, comic comic books, Isaac Asimov, Roy Chapman Andrews, Apollo 13, Dwight Eisenhower, Salt, the Falklands and on and on. At my fingertips is a thousand journeys, stories and personalities, bound together with some paper, glue and ink, almost beckoning me to discover something new.
I suppose that there is a pretentious nature to this display, and I'm okay with that. Some people deck out their cars with the finest of accessories or toys or mud, while others display their degrees on the wall. I guess I want to demonstrate that I'm well read, versed in a number of different fields, eras of history, people, concepts or opinions, while still realizing that I haven't read all of these. My own journey is one of learning, and looking at this shelf, I can see that there's still a lot of distance to go there.
My main concern right now is that after all of the books have been settled in their proper place, shifted back and forth, there's no more space left for the inevitable next couple hundred books that will be coming through the door to join them.