Book Stacks Redux


Possibly the very best thing I did last Christmas in the gift department was make bookstacks. I made them for my husband, my children, my mother, my brother Mike, my sisters in law, my brothers in law, my mother in law, my nieces and nephews. I got so carried away I even made one for myself. They weren’t all new books — a lot of them were books I read last year, or books that were half price, or used.

I loved making them and I am going to make them again and show them to you again, and really, isn’t that a good thing to be doing when you write a blog that is at least purportedly about the subject of reading and books?

That’s the before picture you’re looking at, the slew of books I need to make some sense of. Soon, an after picture.

Oh — tagging! I am not finished yet asking about how people plan. I’ve been struck by how balanced all of you are about planning, how determined you are not to take on too much, promise yourself too much. There are many wise blog posts out there about how important it is to be balanced in your living and planning. It is incredibly inspiring.

For example, Ms. Make Tea, who is a law professor, and a writer, and a very, very smart woman — and whom I have built up a little fantasy about — you know, she lives in sane and beautiful New Zealand, she raises her child without a lot of fuss, she knows a lot about things other than the law. What a nice life it looks like.

And then there is Anna, who knits and writes (obviously, given the name of her site), and makes me wonder how she juggles the projects she works on.

And then mischief mari, from whom I recently acquired the loveliest book bag (go check out her site — cookies! cute stuff she sews!)

Ann Darnton, at whose table I always have a nice time — a woman who knows more than a thing or two about getting things done, and has guided a lot of people in the right reading direction. It’s a rich, interesting site, and a great place to spend time thinking about what you’re reading, and what you might want to read next.


7 thoughts on “Book Stacks Redux

  1. Oh! what flattering image you have of me, dear Bloglily. I fear the reality of how I organise my time will probably be quite disillusioning.

    Basically I make a big list of things to do then I rapidly complete the easy pleasant tasks such as 1. Make Coffee and 2. Drink Coffee. Then I procrastinate and procrastinate and procrastinate sinking further and further into a morass of self loathing and getting ever grumpier and more unpleasant to those around me till eventually I can bear it no more and I manage to get some of the things on my list done in a frenzy of productivity. Then I collapse with exhaustion and achieve absolutely nothing for awhile- days would not be uncommon- and then I make a new list and the cycle begins again.

    Incidentally I have a mental fantasy image of you as being like a lawyerly bookish Molly Katzen (gentle artistic Berkley based author of the Enchanted Brocolli forest and other excellent cook books)

  2. I was just thinking about your book stacks! I thought of doing them this year but we are visiting the in-laws and none of them except my father in law are readers, particularly. I think once I have children I will begin this tradition for whoever is with us to celebrate…I like the idea of saving this tradition and beginning it with new little readers (God willing). But I can’t wait to see your bookstacks!

  3. Courtney, It’s sometimes hard to believe that people don’t read. I’ve also been collecting music and books on tape — for those who don’t like to sit with a book. And good luck with that little reader project!

    Ms. Make Tea, This method sounds awfully, awfully familiar. It is particularly familiar with regard to my law work, which I really procrastinate about, because it is nowhere nearly as much fun as pretty much everything else. Mollie Katzen! I love those cookbooks. But, alas, I yell too much and get too exercised about things in general to be zen-like her. Just so you know!

  4. I remember your bookstacks from last year. That’s a great idea. I love buying books for other booklovers–there’s something very satisfying about selecting just the right book for a friend or family member. By the way–are those clemintines in your bowl? I only ask as I have eaten my very first one today (yes, how did I make it to adulthood without having ever eaten one?). On the box they were also called ‘cuties’–how cute is that?!

  5. I made the most amazing book stack for my nephew this year! All books about New York, so that when he’s old enough he’s going to be obsessed and want to come stay with me and then I can show him all the wonderful things he’s read about. It’s a gift for both of us, really 🙂

  6. Hi Danielle, I love clementines! And how great is that, to get to eat them for the first time as an adult? (Me too, actually. I don’t remember tangerines being easily available.) The ones in the bowl are blue jay satsumas, which are seedless and, in the shop where I get them, come with beautiful, glossy, green leaves.

    How wonderful, Ann. I’m intrigued — what’s in there? There are so many wonderful books set in New York.

  7. I do remember your book stacks from last year. Something I must try at some point the next time I have a major cull of volumes gathering dust for just a little bit too long. Though we have had periods of time when book stacks around the house had to double as furniture.

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