19. Write what it would be like if inanimate objects had feelings. And whatever else you want. Because you’re awesome, Brooke.
Time for a confession. I wrote that prompt myself. The other prompts that were meant for today were not sparking inspiration, and I found myself still thinking about the post last night. I never thought I would write about a book written by a cleaning consultant, and I definitely didn’t think I would write about it twice. But here we are. I kept scrolling through a list of quotes from the cleaning wizard herself and I found this in the “Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing“, “The act of folding is far more than making clothes compact for storage. It is an act of caring, an expression of love and appreciation for the way these clothes support your lifestyle.” Well if this is the case then my clothes must think I hate them. But then I started thinking about some of the other objects I own, and how my actions reflect my feelings toward them.
After the Toy Story movies were released did anyone else go looking for their toys and give them hugs? I knew my toys weren’t alive, but just in case I was wrong I didn’t want them to think I hated them and stage a rebellion. What has now taken the place of toys in my somewhat respectable, semi adult life are books. I love books, but if you see my interaction with them and have read Marie Kondo’s book you may judge me. There are two types of readers in this world. (Or at least for the sake of this blog post there are two types of readers). The first kind are those who like to keep their books in pristine condition. They wouldn’t dare mark up a page, or leave notes in the margins. They gasp at the thought of dog earing a corner to save a spot, and if you bend the cover you might as well be dead to them.
The second type is the exact opposite. We underline favorite passages in pen. The pages or covers often get bent after falling asleep on them in bed. We dog ear pages so that our spot cannot be lost by a bookmark falling from between pages. It’s a harsh type of love, and I seem to love my books harshly. As I type this post I have my favorite book sitting next to me. It is my literary security blanket. I hold it close and read it when I’m feeling sad, lonely, or in need of something familiar again. I picked it up at a scholastic book fair in elementary school and it has been by my side ever since.
It was one of the few books that I took with me to school in Iowa, and one of two books that I carried in a backpack with me through Europe. The dust cover has long been discarded leaving the hardback vulnerable to the elements. The spine is flimsy and cracked due to repeated reads. The pages almost seem to have a yellowish tint to them, and have stains from coffee and tea spills. There are underlines, creases from dog ears, it is a possession that will survive any case of tidying around the house.
I hope this post doesn’t get back to the other books or they might get jealous. I do dust the book shelves so they will have a clean resting place, and at least they all get to sit together. Hopefully that is enough. I look at the titles every night, the ones that have stayed with me. I think about what each of the characters have meant to me, and how their stories have become part of my own. Some of them have seen better days because I don’t always handle the things I love with care, and that can go beyond just books. But I guess everyone has their own love language and this is mine.