• Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

Leave My Books Alone Unless You’re Actually Going to Read One

So, after two failed attempts at writing a decent blog post this morning (one on why I don’t act my age and one on online role-playing game addiction), I decided to drink whiskey and eat pretzels on my deck while I read a magazine. Yes, this is certainly a part of my creative process. Did you have any doubts?

Then, there in front of me was my blog topic. While reading an article on home decorating (shallow, yes indeed), I stumbled across a tip I know I’ve seen before: Remove the dust jackets from your books and arrange them according to color.

My reaction was to choke on a pretzel, then take a really big gulp of my Jameson. That particular decorating tip will NEVER be enacted at my house.

Let me give you some background. I have a ton of books. Novels, poetry, nonfiction. Maps, manuals, comic books. Books on gardening, first aid, feminism, bike repair, house maintenance, photography, editing, HTML, and world politics. Humor, parody, memoir, and memoir that lies through its teeth.

And all those books are organized more or less by category. If I took off the dust jackets and arranged everything by color, I would have a plethora of blue, black, and red books. I’d never again be able to locate the one I want in under 30 minutes.

Decorators [insert snort here]. Do they seriously read? With all due respect, there are plenty of other things that can be organized by color, like plates and socks. Maybe eyeshadow. Pillows. That kind of stuff.

Leave the books alone. Let them tell visitors about something other than your skill at color coordination.

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