At least, I feel like her. If anyone twigged on that reference, I’m talking about the start of the movie, The Incredibles, when Helen unpacks the last box from the last house move. Which happened three years ago.
I just unpacked the last of my books. Granted, I had to rebox some textbooks because I don’t have enough space, but the physical opening of boxes had happened. Which is not to say that all of our belongings have been unboxed and assembled. Somewhere, in one of the boxes, are a pair of ulaks. *shrugs*
I suppose, I could treat this as my subconsciousness settling down. The move into Abbotsford always had a temporary feel to it. Not because I wanted to move again; rather, I had to adjust to constant change. There was the new job (that brought me to Hicksville), then there was the next job (when that high-risk career-move fell through), then the job after that (since I needed a better income), and finally another job where I am currently (because goddamnit I want something decent not just desperate). I moved here in March 2014 and I have changed jobs three times since then; it’s been… trying these past few years (to put it nicely).
So, here I am. Settling. Three years, five months, and some weeks later.
The books are out, the shelves are dusted, there is a rough go at organization (and no little fussing with jigsawing books in a 13″ cube space), and I have space reserved in certain spots–Heeey foresight.
Because–gods above help me, but–I’ve started buying books again. I have a budget (y’know that better job? Yeah, FUN BUCKS!). It helps (or enables–same thing) that the local bookstore, that isn’t a commercialized monster (looking at you, Chapters), has a membership program. As in: I can order in books; I can ask them to keep an eye out for specific titles; I can bring in books for trade credit.
Sure, yes, since the move I have bought books… a few here and there that were either independent writers I wanted to support or old pieces that I couldn’t say no to. Today’s purchases are a bit different though. Two of the books I found are the starters of series: Barbara Hambly’s Dragonsbane and E.E. Knight’s Dragon Champion.
Dragonsbane is used, a clear crease down the front cover . I’ve read this one before possibly… 15 years back? It had some interesting thoughts in it, a crafty dragon, and (eventually?) a transformation from human to dragon which came along with loss of human self. So. Very. Looking forward to that.
On the other hand, Dragon Champion is a new book and in more than one way. It’d been ordered in, fresh on the shelf, and I have only read a brief review on the story. Wanna know what sold me on it? The reviewer compared it to Brian Jacques’ Redwall.
Which leads quite nicely into my third book of the day, which continues the aforementioned series: Jacques’ Taggerung. Never read it, it looks used but well-loved (spine isn’t even creased), and I know what I’m getting into. I’ve been collecting this series since I was… twelve? I’m now up to fourteen books.
I’ve got two requests at the bookstore now–well, technically three–and there’s a small stack of books to take over there on my next trip. I don’t even care if I get money back for them (tho credit is definitely an incentive) I’m just glad that I’m able to essentially sell back copies to a place which won’t just throw them out. The only donation options in my neighbourhood, other than Value Village, are run by the church. Fantasy books aren’t going to get very far with them.
Not gonna say that my library is mature. It’s missing the world atlases and the encyclopedias and the reference books on trees and birds. I don’t even have a decent book on dinosaurs. For that matter, I don’t know where my Anatomy for the Artist (Sarah Simblet) has disappeared to. For a few of the books, I haven’t even read all the way through if at all. And not half the shelves I have available to me are filled with books.
But… my library is definitely mine. Which is all I can really ask from myself (or my budget) for now. It’s a start. It’s filled with high-fantasy with their intense world-builds and epic adventures. It’s got a smattering of urban sci-fi where characters learn new abilities after having to readjust to a different reality. There are shelves filled with manga or editing texts. A section for stories based off table top games (and the rule books that spawned them). And a whole section and a half just for a necromancer who hunts vampires. Which then runs into the books of fantasy art–All hail, Luis Royo.
I don’t have as many dragon books as I would have expected. I could definitely get more.
So no, it’s not mature, it’s very much escapism, or enabling the creation of it. My biggest step towards maturity was probably tossing out the scrap paper I was scribbling on and putting down an honest-to-goodness notepad. Because that old bank envelop really did need to be retired.
After all the dust has settled and been cleaned away, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got started here. And quite literally, I started this blog post hours ago, so my energy has been dwindling (have you noticed the decline in punctuation abuse?). I’m done with writing and cleaning and shuffling books.
I wanna read already.
And yeah, maybe in a year or two I’ll have to pack everything back up again because we’re moving on to a better place. But for now? I’ll let this library grow as it is.
Authors Note: On a meta note, I’m wondering what psychology students would take away from this post regarding my outlook to current life. Huh.
For those curious, the jobs, in order of occurrence, were: admin assistant, pet store backroom employee, gas jockey, and hospital housekeeper (just passed probation!).