Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Books and Clutter

You may be wondering how these go together.  Or maybe you already know.  In my house, books are treasured.  Not always read, but still treasured.  Their mere presence can cause two types of clutter:  physical and mental.  The space they take up, especially with a young child, can be overwhelming in a small house.  Goober Gus has 5 plastic bins for storing books-I got this idea from an organizational book I read.  Pre-readers can't tell what book it is from the spine, so storing them the way a library does on a shelf causes angst for them and the one who has to put them back after that child has moved all to the floor to get to the desired book.  This method has worked well, we've just run out of bins and places to put them.  I also try to have a specific place for library books to be kept so it's easier to find them when they're due back.

Well, that's all good until even that space is overrun with more books.  A good friend is in charge of the library book sale and she regularly gives me "special admission" to the sale on non-sale days to preview new donations.  So yeah, the spot for library books technically is holding library books, just ones that don't have to be returned because we've bought them.

Then there's my books.  I try not to buy books that I won't use again in the future, such as fiction.  I also prefer to check a book out from the library before purchasing just to be sure I like it and will refer to it regularly.  There are times though, that I just can't pass up a bargain even if I haven't read it (or at least perused it) to be sure I want to add it to my collection.  I have boxes of books in storage.  You're probably wondering why in the world I'd have books in boxes?  Simple.  We were supposed to be in this house temporarily while we built elsewhere.  That's no longer a plan and I don't have any place to unpack those books.  It will be like Christmas when I do finally get to unpack those boxes!  There are 2 that I miss, The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent.  If I could easily access the boxes I'd get them out, but that's not the case.

That covers the physical clutter, now on to the mental clutter.  Time.  Time to read these wonderful books and make good use of them.  I started to clear out and clean a space in our entertainment center that is home to a few books, some scrapbook materials, a beautiful tea set I bought two years ago at a yard sale (and have never used) and office supplies (a whole different love affair).  The books here I haven't even thought about for a long time and most were acquired while I was involved with MOPS.  I was going to sell or give them away.  Then I started looking thru them and realized I need to reread some.  I've been feeling a bit dry spiritually lately and was about to order a devotional book to give me something to focus on, then realized that at least 5 of these can fill that need. 

But when?  Most of my non computer screen reading happens in the moments before bed and I prefer that not be anything to keep me awake thinking.  Oddly enough, I got up close to 90 minutes earlier today than usual, just to have a few moments to read my Bible and pray before taking on the day.  I got dressed and went outside to release the chickens and feed the goats.  Guess who walked outside 2 hours before his normal time?  Yep.  So much for a few minutes to read and pray.  I'll never understand or figure out how kids know the days to get up early when parents want them to sleep in.  He'll easily sleep until 830 or 9 most days and was up at 630 this morning.

But I digress.  My daily schedule needs some shaking up anyway, so perhaps adding in some reading breaks would clear the mental clutter of having all these wonderful books that I want to read but don't.  How do you squeeze in reading time?

These are the ones I don't want anymore.  See one you'd like?  Let's make a deal!  Books for Sale
Adding these to my devotional time.  Got suggestions for more?  Devotionals