the bookshelf and the bedroom

back in may i wrote about my “lists of lists” and the list of books i needed to read. since then i have made a little bit of progress on some of them and have finished a couple … but mostly i’ve added more. here’s an updated list, complete with a progress key.

actively reading
passively reading
temporarily shelved
shelved until i make some real progress on the important books

books i am reading and the books i need to read once i finish those.

“wired that way,” by marita littauer
“the everlasting man,” by g.k. chesterton
“standing by words,” by wendell berry
“here i stand: a life of martin luther,” by roland h. bainton
“the book of the dun cow,” by walter wangerin jr.
“impro,” by someone whose name i forget
“1984,” by george orwell
“brave new world,” by aldous huxley
“the great divorce,” by c.s. lewis
“the screwtape letters,” by c.s. lewis
“through painted deserts,” by donald miller
“amy carmichael of dohnavur,” by frank l. houghton
“growing up whitney,” by rick whitney
“the triumph of john and betty stam,” by mrs. howard taylor
“the life of samuel johnson,” by james boswell
“grant: memoirs and selected letters,” by ulysses s. grant
“the mabinogion” (welsh national mythology)
“beowulf,” translated by seamus heaney
“the great tradition,” edited by richard m. gamble
“the mound builders,” by george r. milner
“history of the hour,” by gerhard dohrn-van rossum
“telling the truth,” by marvin olasky
“the discarded image,” by c.s. lewis
“the republic,” by plato 
“a history of wales,” by john davies
“the dawkins letters,” by david robertson
“the years with ross,” by james thurber
“the ball and the cross,” by g.k. chesterton
“true spirituality,” by francis a. schaeffer
“evangelism and the sovereignty of God,” by j.i. packer
“your God is too small,” by j.b. phillips
“tortured for Christ,” by richard wurmbrand
“heaven,” by randy alcorn
“china road,” by rob gifford 
“the white deer,” by james thurber
“miracles,” by c.s. lewis
“travesties,” by tom stoppard 

maybe that will make my list more manageable so that i actually make some headway. i realized that just because i have a book in my possession and haven’t read it yet doesn’t mean i have to read it right now. a great many things are more important than others.

another of my goals for this year was to learn organization. if hanging my clothes according to the color spectrum and arranging my socks by color, weight and height counts, then i’ve made some progress. but i think that’s more in line with unnecessary borderline obsessive-compulsive behavior. so back to the drawing board with this one.

i made the shocking discovery a few days ago that, just because my bed, dresser and chest of drawers have been in the same spots for 10 years doesn’t mean they have to stay there. i can rearrange things to make my space more efficient. hurray!

actually figuring out how that works is another matter. that’s a problem with having big, forceful furniture. or having “stuff” in general. how on earth did i accumulate all this rubbish? i’m learning the delights of emotionless purging — if you haven’t used it in the past few years and don’t, in plain, cold reality, see yourself using it soon, give it away or get rid of it somehow. i really don’t want to have this “stuff” just for the sake of having it. i want to learn to be more logical about what i buy and why, what i keep and why. do i need fifty jillion candles? no. do i need to keep all the electronics and cables i’ve owned during the past 10 years? no. do i need three or four pairs of high-heeled shoes?

well … that one is debatable.

having all this “stuff” and no logical need for a lot of it reminds me of wall-e, though. i have more things than i need already, when many people barely have food and the clothes on their back (and maybe not even that). i don’t want to keep being a slave to things. not at all. i also don’t want to have the mindset that getting rid of things allows me to buy new things or more things i don’t really need, just for the sake of having them.

so if you have bright ideas on furniture arrangement, or want to hunt through a drawer full of cables and candles … come over and be my guest.