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Friday, June 01, 2007

The Library and the Bookstack

I know bloggers: both the readers and the writers tend to be book people. "Other" people have a bookshelf, maybe a bookcase. Book people run out of wall space for their bookcases. They have a basket of books and magazines on the back of the toilet, and a short stack of books lying on the end table. The bigger stack on the nightstand needs sorting, because too many books have been begun and not yet finished.

There's the library, that delightful gallery and marketplace you browse through as you drink your coffee in the morning. You gaze at title upon title and muse about when you will read this and why you should read that. It's the eleven year old's candy store. You look and look, but you really only have the ability to choose one or maybe two at a time.

Then there's the stack.

The stack is the nitty gritty, the true love for the book lover. The stack is what you actually begin to read, maybe sink yourself into with passion or muck yourself through with duty. The stack is the stuff that, after hours of gazing at a bookstore or your own bookcases, you actually chose to pick up. When you had to narrow your selection, the stack was what you couldn't resist.

The stack says something about you. It says what you enjoy, or what you value. Sometimes it says where you place your sense of duty. Even the size of the stack makes a statement about you: are you realistic, or a dreamer? Do you finish what you start?

Around the blogosphere, you see a lot of "What I'm Reading" sidebars. I'm finally going to jump on the train... as soon as Blogger fixes the problem that is making it impossible to make changes to the template. I'd love to know what you're reading, too.