Is a Bookshelf a Bookshelf when there are No Books?

Back at my parent’s house in one corner of my old bedroom stands a bookshelf. At about 72 inches from the ground, the top of my bookshelf gives residence to my handful of trophies from my younger years. Those trophies always represented my continuous desire to strive for greatness. On the top three shelves I housed my vast collection of movies. Everything from Steve Martin’s version of The Pink Panther to The Fault In Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley was included in one of the three shelves. The 70+ movies I own gives rise to the not physically active part of me as a person. Whenever I was bored and did not feel like kicking around a soccer ball, a movie was my go to activity.While collecting and filling the shelves with trophies and awards from various sports and movies from different eras was thrilling at the time, it prevented me from doing something just as important. Since the shelves were filled with trophies and dvds galore, mostly dvds, There was no space for me to put the few books I had, so I stacked them on a desk and left them there.

A few years later, for Christmas, my grandmother gave me a couple of books. Without even cracking the cover I knew that it was time for that bookshelf to be put to GOOD use. As soon I my family arrived back home I ran to my bookshelf and pulled all of the movies off the shelves. I then began carefully organizing my books based on multiple criteria; size, genre, title, and author. When I was finished, I took a step back, pushing my pile of movies out of my way, to admire my work. As I glanced at all four shelves, the one that stuck out was the one just over half full of books. I was terribly upset. How could I only have half a bookshelf of books? I felt utterly stupid, as if I was a failure as a human. Everyone needs a collection of books.

As I grew up, my collection followed. It expanded from only science fiction with pictures every fourth page, to a vast array of books on everything from an apprentice fighting for his chance, to books about the assassination of great and power men. As I was packing for my first year of college I remember looking back at that bookshelf with nearly three full shelves of books and deciding that after I graduated college and move into my own house I would fill a whole room with books. I would have a study where I could go and read about whatever I would like. I would not have to look at my bookshelf and be disappointed in my insufficient collection. It was not until recently that I realized what I had been doing with my collection over the years. I had turned into my own personal librarian in a small part of my brain because, while I am not an avid reader, that part of me reminds me that it is important to read in order to continue to gather knowledge and to grow. As I continue to grow my inner librarian gets stronger and more influential and with it, my collection.


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