I’ve been clearing out my office this morning and realised I am a collector. I found endless piles of old mail, files, magazines I’ll never re-read, shampoo samples, unopened journals and that biggest of all crimes, books. I have about 1,000 books and have only read about 60% of them. Shame – on – me…
We all collect things for different reasons. Maybe someone gave you a decorative spoon ever time they went abroad an now you have a few dozen and feel the need to add to them. Maybe you took a liking to cat figurines and now you’re surrounded wall-to-wall by fake furry feline friends, or maybe you have a passion for shoes and handbags and have a few hundred even though you can only ever use of set at a time? Whatever your “thing” is, try writing about it.
I know that I’ve been fascinated by books my whole life. I struggle to give them away even if I’ve already read them. When I moved house, I realised I had several copies of some of my favourites.
After a time, I began to realise that it was not just the stories themselves that gave me comfort, but the tactile nature of the book itself. That’s why electronic books just don’t do it for me. Yes, I’ll read them when I travel if I’m trying to avoid carrying too much around, but I still love the feeling of running my fingers through the delicate pages of the real deal. There was a time when I could not enter a high street bookshop without coming away with at least three books. To this day, I can’t enter a charity chop without an armful of cheap, cheerful and comforting bundles of pages, bindings and words.
As I tidy my room, I feel the urge to flick through them all and start working out what I have read and what I haven’t. I want to work out what inspired me to buy them in the first place and how much time I need to read them all. I can kid myself and swear that I won’t buy another book until I have finished the unread pile, but I would be a liar. So, today I’ll sit with my 1,000 friends and try to work out how, when and where I will devote time to each of them.
For today, write about what you collect and why. If you’re not a collector of anything in particular (come on, be honest), try writing a story about someone who does collect things to excess and give them a back story of why.
Enjoy. I’m off to see my paperback friends. This might take a while….