Monday, January 16, 2012

A Closet Full of Teleports

I used to have this closet--just a little bit bigger than a shower. At first it was filled with my parents' stuff. After a fair amount of begging, my parents let me move their stuff into a different closet. In place of their stuff I put two bookshelves--each filled with books (naturally). 

The thing about books is that they're filled with stories--and not just stories, but whole worlds with their own laws of physics, their own gods, and their own fantastic people--and books allow us to enter their worlds, learn their physics, meet their gods, and watch their people.

It's like having a closet full of teleports.

I organized my books by colour. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, then black, grey, white, and brown. I knew every book I owned personally. I knew what colour it was. I knew what characters were in it, who wrote it, what happened in it, the laws specific to its universe. I read them over and over--and not just my favourites--all of them.

That said, my favourite books did get special treatment: I probably read Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card) eight times (and the rest of the series almost as much), and I read Ella Enchanted (Gail Carson Levine, don't watch the movie) four times a year for at least six years--and I still read it at least once a year. The first chapter of Emily of New Moon (L. M. Montgomery) always made me feel better when I was irritable (it still does), and just this weekend I finished The Runaway Princess (Kate Coombs) and The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf (Gerald Morris), both for the nth time.

My favourite author of all time is Terry Pratchett, partly because his sarcasm is fantastic and partly because his universe is so huge and likeable. Every book I've read by Neil Gaimon has piqued my interest, and Wordsworth is my favourite poet. Or maybe it's Coleridge... ("I fear thee ancient mariner! I fear thy skinny hand!")

Then I went to college. And you know what? I took my books with me

But there are so many--J. R. R. Tolkien, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, Ray Bradbury, Arthur Lobel, Roald Dahl, Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Christopher Paolini, C. S. Lewis, Rudyard Kipling, William Shakespeare, Michael Crighton, James Herriot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, A. A. Milne, Tamora Pierce...

Go read them all.

Each book is a little piece of the universe (or parallel universe)--it's another place, another time, another world where anything can happen--since I myself cannot go whirling through the stars, I send my brain on extravagant journeys with hobbits and dwarves, or sit down to eat breakfast with a Wookie and a Martian. I even feel this way about text books. Even though I am not experiencing mysterious places and creatures, I am visiting my own world with new eyes and from an untried perspective.

A closet full of teleports. 

Now I keep them everywhere: in my kitchen, my living room, my bedroom. I leave piles of them on the floor next to my bed and scattered over my couch--on the coffee table, by my desk, in the bathroom.

This way, if I ever want to go somewhere, I don't have to go very far.

Because I have a house full of teleports.


  1. yesterday AM Paul P said they used to pay their girls to read books. certainly not something we ever needed to do! We would have been bankrupt before you got to jr high. :P

  2. Hi Ariele!

    I love books too and read anything I can get my hands on! Like you, I have books in every room in my house. The ones that ARE organized are alphabetical by author, then title (unless it's a series, then it's in order by book). It's the only area of my life where I'm obsessively organized!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Take care and keep reading and writing!