|Amate Books, Oaxaca|
Another day off! Each at-home day, I set specific goals for my apartment-tending. I don't work on Sunday as I attend church with my mother and afterwards we go to lunch. My mother used to make a Sunday dinner for ten people but that sort of hospitality is not my style.
Every week, I spend a few hours with my mother and most weeks, I spend time with my daughter who has been working shifts for 20 years. Next week, she will begin a new position with regular office hours. I'm sure that our time together will be affected by this well-deserved change!
Monsieur and I live in a 950 square foot apartment. While Monsieur has a bass guitar, some amps, a karaoke machine and boxes of electrical cords, most of our accumulation can be attributed to me.
Often, without intention, I have created collections of THINGS.
|Hemingway House Bookstore, Key West|
I love books. I've always loved books. I have boxes and boxes of French and English classics. My dad was proud of my memory and aptitude for languages. When he died and my mother downsized, I took, among other titles, his College Survey of English Literature (I loved the fine tissue-like pages) and his Selections from Virgil. I have another collection of vintage Dickens (there is a card for The Dickens Fellowship:Winnipeg Branch from 1925) from my beloved great-great aunt.
Some of those books bear inscriptions or handwritten poems of friendship on the front pages.
Years ago, I started to collect bookmarks. They weigh nothing and are often free in bookstores. My southernmost bookmark hails from Oaxaca and my northernmost from Juneau Alaska. I have bookmarks from favourite bookshops that no longer exist. If you lived in Vancouver, you probably visited the Duthie's Bookstore on Robson Street. Fortunately, my bookmarks don't take up much room. At one time, I contemplated creating a coffee table embellished with a collection of bookmarks under glass. Not going to happen.
|Brattle Bookshop, Boston|
Today, I tackled the bookcase. Opening old books that carry so many memories takes time. I'm not ready to get rid of any books. I've worked in libraries long enough to know that our personal collections of books really don't have much value to public institutions. I packed some books away in my "holding area" and removed a few tchotchkes. I have lots of small figures from Mexico that I've put away for now. I removed a couple of photos, a favourite of my Paris neighbourhood given to me by the friendly corner grocer and deer photo that my husband took at his family cottage on Bowen Island. I will probably switch my décor around from time to time.
|Shakespeare and Company, Paris|
So, after all that, I got rid of nothing but my bookcase is a little more streamlined! Do you remember the conclusion of Howard's End when the man is crushed by the bookcase?