Bookshelves. How one organizes and relates to the books that live in them is an evolving process. Books move.
The books I am currently reading and the stack of books that are on my to be considered next live on top of my bedside bookshelf. After reading a book, it lingers. We had a relationship. It takes a while to let it go too far away. When I’m ready, the book will migrate to a more permanent home.
Moving to another shelf is not a simple task. Perhaps that is why I avoid it.
It may cause the moving of other books. A memoir put amongst novels; a book of essays muddled up with poetry; the short story collection placed with essays; the book that needs to be placed in the to be considered next shelf; books that have done their job taking up valuable bookshelf property.
Moving a book off of my bedside table is no simple matter.
My book bag is another story.
Below is one gorgeous poem. It lives among others in the book Many-Storied House. If you don’t own it, get a copy to live on your shelves.
On Those Shelves
by George Ella Lyon
From the landing you step
down into a room
out over the garage:
This is the room that made us who we were:
book lovers, scholars, people of the word,
who found a safe place between hard covers.
Deckle- or gilt-edged, the wide world opened:
story, knowledge, emotion we’d been taught
to hold in.
On those shelves Papaw built
into the wall below the windows
stood the many mansions of our house.