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Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic


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Currently reading

History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
Henry Fielding
Progress: 61 %
The Summer Tree
Guy Gavriel Kay
Progress: 10/383 pages
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer
The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende

Of Libraries and Clutter

Moonlight Madness's post popped up in my BookLikes feed just as I was finishing another of today's many de-cluttering projects.  It brought a chuckle and a sage nod.


The summer before we moved from Indiana to Arizona, I worked at our local Carnegie Public Library.  Like Moonlight's, it had been built in the early 1900s and remained almost unchanged.  The beautiful oak woodwork was typical of the Craftsman style popular at that time.  It was built to last.


A few years later, the library went on a building spree.  Just like Moonlight's, the building was expanded and systems were upgraded.  I visited once when we returned for a visit in 1992 and it was like walking into a whole new world!  When I worked there in 1985, we still had the mechanical date stamper that cut notches out of the cards, and hand written check-out records; the head librarian didn't even like electric typewriters very much, so computers were out of the question.  The remodeling and expansion brought the library up to snuff, and I see by their website (!) that they've come fully into the digital age.


I've always been lucky to have reasonably decent libraries close at hand, so even when I couldn't afford to own many books, I've at least had access to them.  Though the city I live in now is fairly small, our library is great and has all kinds of digital benefits.


But I've also acquired more than my share of owned books.  And it has to stop.


Today I've been cleaning, organizing, sorting, decluttering, and yes even pitching.  Though I don't have any coherent plans for downsizing or moving, I'm not ruling it out either.  I like my property, with its separate workshop and studio facilities, and moving would require packing up all this STUFF.  Some people might classify me as a borderline hoarder, and it's true that I do sometimes have difficulty getting rid of STUFF.


I began with one stack of books mixed with a bunch of loose paper.  It's been cluttering a small table in my bedroom for . . . months.  Most of the books are now put away, meaning they've been put where they should have been all this time.  Half the loose paper has been disposed of in the recycle box.  I'm working on the other half.


I also resurrected my old decluttering technique -- Every day throw five away.


When I call myself a borderline hoarder it's because I do keep a lot of STUFF other people might throw away, but I don't have any problem throwing away genuine trash.  Well, okay, sometimes I do have a slight problem, but most of the time I do overcome it.


Therefore, throwing away actual ordinary trash doesn't count, like empty cereal boxes or broken dishes.  The rule is that I have to dispose of FIVE ITEMS that I might otherwise have kept or have indeed been keeping for no sensible reason.


So far today I've only pitched three things but I made up for that by tossing not only the loose paper from the bedroom table but also a whole fat file from the big filing cabinet.  Tomorrow I think some clothes are going to get the boot, and maybe some shoes, too.  Pun intended, of course.


The real hoarding chaos is in the studio, but it's still much too hot to work out there very long.  But summer is finally winding down -- it was only 103 here this afternoon -- so before too long I'll have plenty of time to work on the catastrophe of STUFF in the studio.


Today was just a start.