Thursday, October 20, 2011

Books and Stuff

I  wanted so desperately to participate in Charity's "There and Back Again" linky party, but I just did not have the energy to do all of the required steps (read, digest message, write, go back, then link up - or something to that effect). It would make me right happy, though, if you would go over to Charity's place at Wide Open Spaces and check out the people who did have the energy. Oh, and if they have snacks, can you bring me something?

One reason I am so tired is that the depression is chasing me hard these days. There's a little anxiety mixed in and some serious life stressors to boot. (what does that MEAN? to boot?) I was thinking that it was getting the best of me until I met with Jen for lunch. You remember Jen, right? She has a blog and she hosts the Soli Deo Gloria linky party that starts on Monday nights? No? The winner of my FIRST EVER book giveaway? There. I knew you would remember. Jen and I met face-to-face for the very first time at lunch yesterday. In the midst of all kinds of things we were saying (including how the wrong haircut can make a guy look so UN-cute), it occurred to me that one thing is different about the depression this time. It is only one thing, but anyTHING that is different is a small victory, yes? 

And what is that one thing, my now-six loyal readers ask? That one thing is that when I wake up in the morning I don't try to keep my eyes closed and pretend that the day is not happening. I am not filled with so much fear, dread, and despair that I cannot even leave the bed. Granted there are still some days that I only make it as far as my little computer desk in the corner (with the cool pink netbook on it!). This is important, because at that little computer desk is where I find you (in bits and bytes on my netbook screen). And when I find you, I connect. It is starting to look like that is more than one little thing - or maybe it is one little thing with many facets. Anyway. That is huge in its own way. Before, I would hide under the covers and cry if my husband tried to coax me out of bed. Moving to the other side of the room and connecting with people - even if I cannot get dressed or leave the house (which my boss would appreciate) - is a new thing. Yay! 

Another thing that Jen and I talked about was all of the books I am planning to read. "Planning to read" does not mean that the books are on my Amazon wish list. "Planning to read" means that I have already purchased the book and it is in my home. I hardly ever buy one book at a time. Amazon super saver shipping (or whatever it is called) entices me to buy two or three books at a time so that I don't also have to pay shipping charges. And shipping charges are from the devil, in my humble opinion. So between the "floating" bookshelf on the wall and the cushion on my wing chair in the corner that is covered in neat stacks of books, I have counted about 28 separate pieces of literature that are calling for me to read them. David Dark and I previously discussed a way for me to weed some of them out, but the necessity of that just makes me sad. We haven't even got to all of the books in my bookcase (the one in the bedroom - not the one in the living room that I am currently ignoring the existence of).

Left-top-corner: books on "floating" shelf; top of chair: pew pig from our wedding; 
back row: Helen the Cow (who helped Mom pass on), trust back scratcher, 
Sock Monkey's Teddy Bear, Sock Monkey; foreground: many books

In my meager defense here, I want to point out that there are quite a few books in the bookcase that I have already read. In fact, I have read some of them multiple times. Some of them were gifts (I cannot bring myself to take a book that has been especially inscribed with well wishes from a friend and sell it at Half Price Books). So whether I have read the gift books or not, I count them in my favor. So maybe about 1/3 to 1/2 of the books (depending on who is doing the counting) are unread. But some of them are books on prayer. I have a hangup about getting rid of books about prayer. It just feels wrong. I have had the book How To Pray After You've Kicked The Dog by Terry Tekyl for at least six years now. It still looks as good as new, most likely because I've never opened it past the front cover. The good news is that I seriously have not kicked any dog since I got that book. The bad news is that the book is still taking up space on my shelf and I cannot seem to part with it. 

I have a picture book about U2 (the band, not the plane) from sometime in the 1980s. I have a book called Ireland by Jill and Leon Uris that is all marked up with highlighter (long story). I have a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar that I bought to replace the one I bought in book club when I was in grade school (where did that one go?). There is Refuel by Doug Fields. We  supposedly worked our way through that in small group, but it left no lasting impression. There is A Violent Grace by Michael Card. I can tell just by looking at the back of it that I bought it because it has endorsements from both Brennan Manning and Max Lucado. There is a book called A Mobile Church for E.P.I.C. Times: Moving Across Faith Community Borders by Fred Peatross. The blah blah blah on the back says, "In him most significant book Fred Peatross challenges his readers to interface the world and the church; to step across faith community borders and create 'safe-places' where believers, functioning as guides and explorers, comfortably journey with pre-Christians." It also says that the author has his heritage in the Restoration Movement. If that indeed means the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, which is my heritage as well, then we might have found the reason this unread book is on my shelf.

With reason or without reason, I have a lot of books. I can tell you for sure that some of the more recent purchases will be read rather quick-like. I can also tell you that some of them will end up like the book about kicking the dog - shelf decorations. I looked up at the top shelf just a moment ago and saw my small selection of adoption-related books, one of which was given to me by its author. I wonder if that section has anything to do with my larger book problem. Adoptees from my generation quite often have abandonment issues. Maybe I just cannot stand to abandon what seems like a book with potential -  as if the author (sentient) or the book itself (non-sentient) will somehow know and feel rejected. Or that could just be a load of psycho-babble codswallop. Flip a coin. See if it lands on "Carolyn has self-discipline issues". Although, I don't see why I should take all of the blame. We've figured out how to download books to our computers, e-readers, and phones. Why can't somebody find a way to download them into my brain? Is that so much to ask? Hold me accountable for buying too many shoes and purses, but cut me slack on the books, okay?

Do you regularly end up with more books than you could read in a month of Sundays? Or do you have some other "collecting" affliction? Do tell. 


  1. My name is Sheila, and I'm addicted to mixing bowls.

    I own all the bowls I can really justify owning (one sort of mismatched stack of stainless, one nested set of plastic ones, a three-piece set of narrow, deep ones that are terra cotta on the outside and glazed deep green ceramic on the inside and lip, and my grandma's big yellow Pyrex bowl).

    So now I admire them when I'm out, approaching the housewares department as others might a museum.

  2. Good morning Beautiful, I'm thinking that you've underestimated the "small victory" proud of your choice to have a victor's attitude :) As for the book collections; give me a break and don't ever come to my house LOL! I read approximately 8 books at a time and am prone to leave any one of them (except my Bible) unread. Some books take 2hrs, some 2 days others years and haven't been finished. Am joining the slacker reading movement as far as accountability, but not in reading. How about you? Love you, friend...keep writing, i really enjoy my alter ego!

  3. @Sheila - I have the whole set of the Pyrex bowls! The blue, red, and green ones that sit inside the yellow one! I think I have some two other sets of mixing bowls as well, but I didn't realize til now that we might be collecting them! :)

    @Carolyn (are you my ego if I am your alter-ego?) Maybe I have underestimated my small victory, but I'm still absorbing the fact that it has even happened. And why are you here? Aren't you supposed to be in Greece?

  4. Hang in there, lady. I'm reading :)

    Celebrate the victories. Keep coming to the pink netbook but don't dare let it be the only world.

  5. @bernardshuford looks like you are loyal reader #7! Yay you!

    I'm trying... trying to have a world outside of this room. Hard stuff, but do-able with my Lord.

  6. I love this post.

    My collection is also books, but since I got my ever-faithful Kindle, all of my books go there, instead of piling up on bookshelves, floor space, chairs, and other random one point, pre-Kindle, I had a stack of books on my GameCube console!

    I did buy some "actual" books when I was at Catalyst...they are currently in my Zondervan bag (also procured at Catalyst) being unread.

    Love you, friend! Keep hanging onto that one thing and maintaining that connection. We now-seven loyal readers can't do this without you!

  7. Books are a bit of a downfall for me too, but not as much as for my wife.

    Hope the greyness lifts for you.

  8. Carolyn,
    Your post is up! Thank you for sharing your words over at my place today. I turned off the comments and encouraged people to pop over to your place to say hello.

    Have a good weekend, friend.

  9. I have about 6000 books. Have I read them all? What do you think? I'm working on William Lloyd Garrison's bio right now, All on Fire, which is very reldvant to the poliltics of adoption; and trying to do Herman Melille novellas and start the Education of Henry Adams. I want to re-read Death on the Installment Plan. The title alone is worth it.


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