Thursday, August 5, 2010

The great migration

The great manga migration is finally (almost) over.  I have moved (nearly) all of my manga (Japanese graphic novels) and anime (Japanese cartoons) to an off-site location.  I'm kind of in mourning, but I'm also breathing better because there is less book dust around my bed each night.  Darn that allergist for being right!  It was a tough decision, but now that I have a job that pays a living wage, I no longer had any excuses not to get 6 bookcases out of my sleeping area (aka, my 385 square foot apartment) due to allergies.

How did I make the painful decision to part with the manga in a spacial way?  It all comes down to the fact that I only have four and 3/4 bookcases full of other books.  I considered breaking things up and keeping my most favorite, most frequently randomly re-read manga series here and sending some of my reference books to my new library, but, in the end, I felt like they should all be together and able to spread out in correct alphabetical order because as much as I am a manga nerd, I am a book nerd first and foremost, and alphabetizing things is soothing, darn it. 

There are nine bookcases crammed into a tiny, climate-controlled storage unit a few miles from my apartment.  I have 14 inches of clearance wherever I go in this tiny space, so as long as I don't gain any weight, I still have free-ish access to my lovely collection, which is slowly emerging from its boxes and settling in.  No more sun damage from the light through the window.  No unpredictable and uncontrollable temperatures.  Less space-crunching.  Silence and solitude.  I hope they like it there.  And I will visit regularly, so they know I do care.  I'd like to believe it's a better place for them.  Pardon me while I get a tissue.

I should also mention that it's actually good to get that temptation away from me.  It was really too easy to see something I loved and grab it off the shelf and read it before I got any work done.  It's not the manga's fault I have no self-control; it's mine, but by moving it, I've stopped enabling myself in a negative way.  Kind of.  I still have a couple shelves worth of stuff I'm going to read before I take it to its new home.  I just have a lot less, and this is ongoing series stuff, so I don't know how it ends.  I have to give it more thought and attention than the quick re-read stuff I know I'll love.

Some people might say that I still have almost 5 bookcases worth of books around, so how can I possibly act like I've removed the temptation.  To them, I would say that since I got hurt at work and started losing sleep and concentration and such, my reading rate and comprehension tanked.  Even a YA or middle-grade book takes hours now (used to be I could read over 100 pages an hour), so I tend not to start them if I know I won't be able to finish them right away.  Most manga is fairly short.  Some volumes take less than 30 minutes to read.  That's temptation to me.  It's like fast food in some ways only right in my room all the time . . .

Now that I not only have a 40+ hour a week job but a new part time teaching job coming up, I can't afford to make it that easy for me to let my priorities slip.  This way, if I want to reward myself, I have to plan and be efficient and get things done.  Then I can allow myself to read for fun.  And I must read for fun; therefore, I will be efficient!  Let's see how that works out for me, shall we?

Have you ever had too many books and not enough space?  What was your solution?  How did you prioritize?

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