Sara Mills

Sara Mills lives in Alberta, Canada in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. She is freelance writer, wife and mother of three. Her passions include collecting swords, raising Golden Retrievers and hosting a house full of hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles and puppies. Aside from animals and swords, Sara loves film noir, Humphrey Bogart and The Maltese Falcon. Miss Fortune is her first novel. You can visit her website at


As a self-confessed bibliophile, I have a nagging problem: shelf space. As in there’s never enough. I accumulate books everywhere I go. I order them online, I stop at just about every bookstore I pass, I get reviewer copies, and let’s not even talk about the number of books I buy my kids.

In the past, every time I noticed books piled all over the house and my full bookshelves, I just built a new bookcase. And that has always worked. But now I don’t have any room for more bookcases. Unless I want to start stacking books in my kitchen cupboards, I have to purge.

Once a month I go through my shelves and fill a bag, either to give to friends (what lucky friends I have) or to donate to my library. I love doing this because my library now has the biggest selection of Christian fiction in the entire area. And the even cooler thing is that the Christian fiction titles have the longest request lists. Anyway, I regularly purge my shelves, gaining another three feet or so of room. But it fills up again almost immediately.

Now here’s my quandary. I was thinking about my shelf space problem and I wondered if my brain was like a huge bookcase. What happens when I’ve filled all my brain shelves? Does my brain start dumping information in big sections, making room for all the new stuff I’m putting in? As I continue to read and fill up the spaces on my neural bookcase, am I eventually going to shove out old information as I input new?

I mean, look at Albert Einstein. He was one of the most brilliant men of the twentieth century, yet he could neither remember to cut his hair, nor could he match his clothing. He bought all the same suits so he never had to think about what would put on in the morning. His brain shelf must have been full with the Theory of Everything.

I’m not saying that my brain compares to Einstein’s, but maybe my brain shelf is smaller than his. Maybe someday it will be full and my brain will have to remove unimportant things like how to behave in social situations, where I hid the house keys, or how to operate the DVD player.

Anyway, that’s my worry. Are your bookshelves full? Are your neural bookshelves approaching capacity?

Even though I know I should slow down on the book acquisitions, I can’t make myself stop. And I’m probably never going to stop reading to preserve space in my brain. Who really cares how to work the DVD player, and there are worse things than wearing all black all the time.

Miss Fortune