Got a shelf full of books and nothing to read? I know the feeling.
Between my boyfriend and I, our apartment has plenty of bookshelves, all filled to the brim. Though we love being surrounded by books, after awhile your eyes start to glaze over them, and just when you think you could name every book in order that's on a shelf, you take a closer look and realize you'd get the first five wrong.
It's a kind of visual fatigue. You see something so much that you think you really know it, but in actuality you might not. That's how, even though I have a ton of books, I feel like I need to look elsewhere for the next thing I'm going to read. And the way my Southern bones are reacting to this Midwestern winter, I'm hard-pressed to even want to go to the library. And since my Reading Resolution for 2016 is to not buy any books, online shopping is out.
I needed a quick fix to rekindle the love for my home library and get over my bookshelf fatigue. After awhile I found something that worked: bookshelf meditation.
I'd sit in front of my bookshelf and look at each book, one at a time, in order. As I read each title, I would ask myself to recall where I got it and what intrigued me about it at the time. As I did this, I started remembering stories of traveling to different cities and checking out the indie bookstores there, or just fun trips to the local thrift store. I remembered the wonderful people who recommended the books to me. I remembered the even more wonderful people who were with me when I bought the books (because book shopping with me is an exercise in patience). I remembered the various phases of my reading where my interest shifted from one topic to the next or where I decided to try a new genre for the first time.
In this recollection, I remembered why I'd gotten those particular books in the first place, why I'd kept them for so long, and how they all were a part of my reading journey.
After just a few minutes, I realized I had plenty of things I'd love to read. I just had to remember why, in a market where there's a never-ending supply of new books, I'd wanted to read them.
Do you ever get bookshelf fatigue? If so, what do you do to cure it? Or if you already practice bookshelf meditation, share some of your favorite memories about books. Leave a comment!