dirty habits

books on a book shelf

When I left the house in Spain, I had to pack up all my books and put them in storage. I don’t know how many there were but, around twenty years earlier, fifteen boxfuls had followed me from the UK to Madrid. I’ve never been one for reading and abandoning a book, so in the intervening period the number may well have doubled. Perhaps one day I’ll be re-united with them.

Since arriving back in the UK, I’ve tried to be reasonable about acquiring more as I simply don’t have the space. But for some reason, I like to own what I have read and my few bookcases are full to capacity.

Today I was re-arranging furniture, so had to move a stack of books and papers from where they had gathered as there was no more space on the shelves.

The amount of dust that had accumulated in a relatively short time was horrendous and it occurred to me that, much as I would hate to live in a world without books, it might be a lot cleaner.

books on a book shelf

Looking for a poem to complete this post, I found this one, which not only has bookcases, but also accumulated dust.


Catless for many years, he had forgotten
the building of trust. Her visit began
with a slow circumspection of angles
and openings as she explored the draughts
from window frames and under each door,
establishing her points of exit. She ventured
onto table tops, crept under chairs and bookcases,
hunkering at last, just out of sight, beyond
the offside corner of the couch. When finally
the warmth of hearth and cushion-comfort lured her,
she came to him with cobwebs in her fur.

For anyone who’s interested in the writing process, I discussed the development of this particular piece in the post the present poetic.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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