Thursday, May 13, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things

And a few of my favorite things are: Bookshelves!

Yesterday I picked up a fine pair of shelves from a nice neighbor down the street. I carried them home one at a time, laboriously. The stretch of my block has never seemed so epic! With just a tiny bit of help from kind housemates, the shelves went up the stairs and were assembled in my room, to aid and abet the overcrowded set of cubbyholes the room's former tenant left me.

I've always found the process of arranging books on shelves to be uniquely satisfying. Psychologists talk about a state called "flow," in which you're completely swept up in the task at hand. I've been known to partake in this meditative state when I'm drawing, doing theater, walking, (still too infrequently) practicing piano. In my mind, it's a feeling that I'll do something until it's done, and that I'll have an intuitive sense of when I hit that point.

And this feeling comes out most strongly when I'm arranging books. There's an intuition to it, a self-devised, obscure categorization process. It's sort of feng shui, or balancing the space, or something. I will not bore you with the details of my process, save to say that it's based on book content as well as size and who knows what else. Strangely, this time one set of books seems to be colored exclusively in the red family; the second half of that shelf tends more to blue.

After rearranging to my heart's content yesterday, though, I discovered a problem: too much empty space! I don't want the shelves to be too full for me to make new (increasingly selective) additions. But these new ones aren't even a third covered. I think this weekend it'll finally be time to finally start cleaning up my room at my parents' house...

How about you? Can you capture your meditative sense of true self whilst arranging paperbacks on boards? Do you have another activity that works better?

No comments:

Post a Comment