Books Sitting on Shelves, Untouched


(Image from Affinity Magazine)

Lizzie Lohrer, Feature and Opinion Editor

My house is filled to the brim with books. Books spill out of the kitchen cupboards and sit on the staircase in looming stacks. The desk in the office is covered with them and it has been that way so long I can’t remember what the desk’s surface even looks like.

The windows in my room are half obscured by the books lined up on the windowsills, and my bookshelves have no more space. There are several stacks in my closet and another few at the foot of my bed. The family room is worse – my books have taken over every shelf in there, despite my mother’s attempt to move them elsewhere.

There are so many books in the house that we’ve begun to accumulate duplicates – have come home from the bookstore too many times with a pile of books identical to the one sitting by the fireplace in the living room or on the kitchen island.

A large portion of the books that are overtaking the house are mine, stack upon stack of sentimental keepsakes that I can’t bring myself to get rid of. Why would I, when I can remember vividly bringing it home for the first time, can remember holding it in my hands for a solid three minutes after finishing reading through it for the first time.

So, instead, I put the book back on the shelf, where it sits, untouched. I’d rather let it sit, collecting dust, instead of giving it away, instead of letting go of anything that I once cared for.

My heart sits in pieces between the volumes on my shelves, each shard broken off with a well-written sentence or well-placed metaphor.