New Goal for the New Year (2013): The Personal Library

Self finally decides that she needs to put a number on the exact number of books she owns.



Because she wants to know if she has a library of 500 books, or 1000 books, or 2000 books, or 3000 books.

Because then she can decide whether it’s too much, and also decide what to do in order to get the “too much” down to “manageable.”

She decides to begin with the bookcase adjacent to the front door, and then move gradually towards the inner sanctum (Her office).

Now, then:  There is a bookcase just to the left of the front door.  Self never bothered to research whether having a bookcase there is good or bad feng shui.  Mebbe the reason she is at the point of life where she is has everything to do with the placement of her bookshelves?

(Self, that is all water under the bridge.  What is the point of engaging in BOO HOO HOO?  The point is:  You are still alive.  Onward!)

Okey dokey.  On top of the bookcase by the door are 17 books.  These books include Luis Francia’s anthology Brown River, White Ocean; Karen Tei Yamashita’s I-Hotel, Linh Dinh’s novel Love Like Hate, and a huge hardbound book that self’s in-laws gave her, a long time ago, called Total Well Being.  There is Samantha Sotto’s novel, Before Ever After, and Richard Lemm’s Burning House.  There are also The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis and Lysley Tenorio’s Monstress.  Self has read most, if not all, of these books.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.


  1. December 19, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    You sound like my policy of clearing the floor one square foot at a time – but what is “too much” –

    I go this way –

    1. books I will not part with till the day I die.
    2. books to consult now and then –
    3. Books I hate and would never touch – don’t know why I am keeping them.

    Start from 3 – ha ha –

    as we say in Burmese “If it’s no good, give it to the monastery”

    Like chipped plates or mismatched China, like some of the things friends gave me when I came to the USA – But this particular friend, Scallion Shoot, also gave me TWO Coach Bags (new) – a full set of stoneware dishes, and an heirloom piece with bamboo hand painted on 3 bowls, set in a bamboo container.


  2. December 22, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Oh, Kyi, that is an EXCELLENT way to organize a personal library. To tell the truth, I went on a massive “clean-out” of all my shelves a few months ago, and tossed most of the books I didn’t want to keep. So, the ones still on the shelves are the ones I’ve actually read and value. But I just need to find out HOW MANY BOOKS I actually have in my personal library. Why this urge to tabulate came over me NOW, I don’t know. But as a writer, I will honor the impulse.

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