Words and dust

I used to sew. And for years I’ve had a subscription to Threads, which I find to be a lovely magazine (perfect-bound, too!).

For a lot of years. My mom got a subscription when it started up, you see, and I got one when I moved out, and… Oh dear. I might actually have, give or take, two decades worth of the magazine, here.

On paper.

I’m ballparking that at about 12,000 pages, and no, there is not an extra zero in there.

I mentioned that I used to sew, right?

So I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that there is actually no-one who wants these things (no, libraries don’t usually take old magazines), and I have no use for them, and they are taking up a kind of ridiculous amount of shelf-space, and…

And I feel guilty for not having kept up with them. I feel guilty for not still liking them, as if I owe it to the person I was a decade ago to not change. I feel guilty for not being able to go through them and use them up to produce a brilliant and trenchant collage that is both a commentary on modern society and a funny and uplifting story (although with 12,000 pages, quite frankly, I am not sure where the hell such a collage could be stored and also I’m now imagining glue in all the cat fur help this is out of control).

But the magazines are meant to be something I enjoy. If they’re making me feel unhappy and vaguely anxious, they are defective and the situation needs to be corrected. I think I’ve finally managed to get through the guilt and figure this out, and that’s a good feeling.

(I’d still love it if sometime in the future magazines became edible. Then they would be easy and economical to dispose of, instead of quite this fraught.)

Books, spaced and sorted.

I’ve gotten a total of 58 inches of shelf space cleared over the last two weekends–and I’ve just realized that while if that was stacked up it would not be quite as tall as I am, it would still be pretty impressive–and I am thinking that I might need to change how I organize my books. Usually I sort fiction into anthologies, collections, and novels[1], but lately I’m thinking it might make more sense to subdivide the anthologies.

I’m starting to feel like the ones I have fall into two general groups; some are reference works (most of the annual “Year’s Best”, for example) and some are themed works (many one-shot anthologies, and my goodness I have a lot of post-apocalyptically themed ones). And organizing them that way–splitting the collections of ones selected for notability away from the ones selected for theme–might start to make it a little easier to get a handle on the… well, the general flood.

(I have over two hundred books that I own and haven’t finished. This doesn’t really make me very happy.)

I have also just realized (because I was updating Goodreads while sorting the culled books out) that I have finished one book this month. One. And it was a fairly slim graphic novel loaned to me by a friend.

(I am, for the record, in the habit of finishing between five and eight books a month. The higher numbers do usually include graphic novels and e-novelettes, both of which are quite fast reads, but still. So I feel a little bit better having evidence that I’ve actually been ridiculously busy, but at the same time I little disconcerted to realize how busy I’ve been.)
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[1] Well, usually I sort them first by hardcover/paperback/mass-market format, and then by anthology/collection/novel within that format, with the caveat that certain authors–Terry Pratchett springs to mind–get their own section by virtue of being who they are. Graphic novels, RPGs, and non-fiction are grouped by subject. The favourites shelf and the Mythos shelf (both of which are expanding past the “single shelf” category) may both ignore all these restrictions.

More air, less pulp

I’ve been cleaning things out lately; not even decluttering (which suggests to me either putting things away or disposing of casually accumulated things), but actually revisiting what I do and don’t want to keep. Things that I decided yes to a couple of years ago have been re-evaluated, and some are being kept, and some are being gotten rid of.

(The paper recycling is going to be heavy as hell this week, for the record. I feel a little bad about that, which is probably not reasonable.)

There are several more square feet of space in the room I am focussing on, and the impromptu cat bed has been replaced by a promptu one (surely not the correct word, surely a comprehensible incorrect one). It really does make a huge difference to how clear I find myself feeling when I’m in the room.

I’m hoping to get a chance to work on my office a little this weekend. At some point, I’ll need to comb through my physical books again, but that’s never an easy step to take. However, we’re at the point where we need another bookshelf to keep all the books we have[1], so something needs to change. I figure I’ll look at it once the rest of the house is better sorted.

[1] We already have thirteen.