A place for my stuff, 2006

All of us have dreams about what we want our area to look like – a personal cubby for reflection, or room designed for entertaining, or simply a space for our television and Nintendo to sit. Some buy it all at once, purchasing a “dream home” when the money is right and the time affords some splurging. Others build their space bit-by-bit, room-by-room. Still, some never get that space at all, never realizing their dream space – their one repose from the usual architecture of life.

In a few days, my dream space will be reality. We’re nearly finished with our library.

I’ve always wanted a library. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been surrounded by bookshelves. Novel after novel has towered above me for years, from my mother’s living room to the stacks at Barnes and Noble. I’ve lost myself in libraries and used bookstores. But I’ve never really had a space of my own, something I could call a library.

I survived with a bookshelf here and a wall shelf there, but I’ve always desired one place – a series of pressed wood shelves; a reading lamp, comfy chair, and display table; my desk, my computer, my workspace. I’ve wanted an office that doubled as a book depository.

Thanks to another trip to IKEA and years of saving, we’ve nearly finished our basement. And along with this, the library. One wall of books. One cubby for the computer. One comfy chair. Everything will come together to create a hiding place, an area of complete concentration, small enough to feel completely enclosed and shut off from distractions while big enough to not be cramped.

I think too little credit is given to the places where people become creative and relaxed. Some people can escape to a busy Starbucks. I can’t. I can’t concentrate on anything. I need a chair, a clean desk, or a quiet, nearly soundproof closed off area. Now I have one, and I’m more excited than I’d originally thought. After a layer of carpet and the agonizing task of reorganizing my books, it will be complete.

Of course, it will never truly be complete. No respectable living space ever is. It moves with a fluid motion that fills every corner with livability. It changes and re-creates itself based on the whims and experiences of the owner, adding trinkets and throwing rubbage out like a small-town flea market. I’m already looking to add on: a small card catalogue is my first hopeful addition, and an old European map would help clutter a too-bare spot on the wall.

But that’s the future. For what it’s worth, it’s perfect now. That is, it will be, just as soon as I get the Allen wrench out and put these boxes of bookshelves together.

This was lovingly handwritten on July 31st, 2006