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
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
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.