I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this — maybe once or twice — but we live in a tiny house. Two hundred square feet. And as we navigate growing and preserving season on three farms, Mamacraft, and build projects, the house has a tendency to feel a wee bit full. So I ask you, what business do I have bringing home all these books? 

But oh, I cannot resist the delicious pages of flower and bird illustrations, or the promise of these knitted garments, or even the thought of working with those Scandinavian patterns at some undetermined, unknown point in the future. Just look at them! I can’t help it.

I’ve taken up rummage sale-ing for the assorted sundries we need like farm clothes and baby things (no sense in buying these new as we run through them with lightning speed). But for some reason, I never fail to leave without visiting the book tables. Even as I remind myself that our current book storage consists of half of a stair tread and two 6″ cubbies, I pile books into the bottom of the baby’s stroller, glancing around to make sure I don’t see anyone I know who will question where exactly I’m going to put my new books. And after crossing that threshold, it somehow feels ok to go out of my way to buy books. Online! And at library book sales! And this coming from a woman who once tried to downsize us out of a kitchen table. As Seth lovingly teases, “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?”

There’s always space for reference books, I tell myself. Good basic knitting motif books. Bird and garden books. And Addie will definitely need imagination inspiring books as she gets older (I say with a gulp, thinking of the two boxes of kids books already waiting in storage). And then there are all of the Elizabeth Zimmermann books to collect so I can rely on her knitting recipes and common sense and wit in my quest to keep us in sweaters. 

Maybe we would do better with a “one in, one out” policy. Sure, that seems reasonable, now when I’m not confronted with bookshelves of potential new friends waiting to be brought home for a mere $5 per grocery bag’s worth. But then how would I decide which books to get rid of? Can you see my conundrum? I’m a lost case, I think. I’ll be buried alive in books. But oh, what a way to go. 

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