Home is Where the Books Are

There is something about a wall of books around me that makes me feel at home.

Which is why as soon as we were set up in our transition home, I started buying books. The solidity of a room full of books; shelves of stacks of novels and hard covers, is something I think I need, to really feel at home.

I miss my books. I know they are safe in their boxes, safe in their short-term home, in good care. But I miss them. I miss seeing them when I look up from my tea. I miss knowing they are there. I miss the story they tell about who I am. Some of those books are nearly 100 years old. Some have passed through many hands. Some are brand new. Some don’t matter to anyone but me, and some matter a great deal.

Maybe it is the recent reminders of how temporary my current home is. Maybe it is knowing that this is not my home. It is where I lay my head, but it is not home. And not being able to unpack, not being able to create that second sturdy layer of page in binding. That is what is missing. I Need that, like I need walls around me. And I know that until I sit in a room I can call my own, encircled by my unpacked books, I will not feel at home.

In the mean time, I will not stop myself from picking up books off the cheap racks. I will haunt the library and discover the second-hand stores in my new city. I will create a sense of stability with in the sacred piles of books that begin to box me in. I will let them hold me like walls, house me until I am home.

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