Monday, May 7, 2012

Books and the Significant Other, Part II

I wrote a very long time ago about books and your significant other and how the two intersect.  Tonight, as I was reading The Lover's Diary by David Levithan, I knew I'd have to do another when I came across this quote:

"'I want my books to have their own shelves,' you said, and I knew it would be ok to live together."

From that second on, I knew I'd love the book.  I'll post a review soon, but what I want to talk about in this post is whether or not you have or would in the future combine bookcases with a significant other.  You guys know I'm married and that I'm totally devoted to Lucas.  But.  I can't imagine a universe in which we would share bookcases.

I'd go so far as to say I'm ok with sharing everything, with the exception of my books.  I even allow Luke to claim partial ownership of my Sly, which I think is very generous, seeing as I've spent more of my life with Sly than with Luke.  But I'd never, ever think to say "our" books, even after we've been married for a million years. 

Even worse is the thought of combining bookshelves.  My books and his, together?  No.  Luke reads a lot and I totally support his choice of literature, but to go so far as to shelve them with my own?  Madness.  I seriously feel like our house would break down into anarchy and chaos if we didn't separate our books.  Luke's are proudly displayed on a shelf in his office, where no one ever goes.  Mine are proudly displayed...everywhere else.

I realize that this makes me sound like an evil person.  I sound selfish and like I love my books more than my husband, which is not true at all.  I definitely love Luke more than books.  I'd rather get rid of my books than Luke, obviously.  But I may also rather get rid of my books than combine them and declare joint ownership.  And Luke totally gets it, which is why we're in love.  We can share everything else, including deodorant, which I think is a pretty gross couple-y thing to share but we've all been desperate at times, right?  And he is totally welcome to borrow my books anytime he wants, without asking.  As long as he reshelves them on my shelves and not his.

What about you?  Have you taken the plunge and combined bookshelves with your significant other?


  1. I don't think it's selfish at all. I think what a person reads and how they organize things is such a part of them that to require them to change that upon marriage or some other serious relationship is unreasonable. Combine books and organization... well, it's crazy to suggest that to someone... if it means that much to them. I'm sure some people would be fine with sharing books and book space, but I honestly don't think I could do it. Maybe for cook-books... but my favorite genres and my neatly organized personal library? When hell freezes over.

  2. Oh, and I forgot something: I think the best relationships are the ones where the couple understands these little quirks about each other and their love is only stronger because of them. :)

  3. We have our books combined into our (AKA my) shelves for two reasons:

    1. Brett and I read a lot of the same books.
    2. I am anal, Brett is not. His books would be stuck somewhere in a closet or a box if he had his way. That makes me too sad to even think they share shelf space with my books.

    However, I don't think you are crazy. We each have our quirks so I saw roll with what works.

    PS. I totally love that you called him Lucas. It makes me giggle.

    1. Lucas, Luker, Lukey, LJ, Luke - I almost never call him the same thing twice in a row. But people seem to find it especially funny when I say Lucas for some reason.

      Anyway, he reads primarily SF/Fantasy and prefers the mass market paperback editions. So not only do the covers predominantly feature dragons or wizards, they are also tiny and the spines are all broken and creased. In short: I am pleased for him to keep them hidden away where they don't taint the visual effect of my pretties.

  4. My husband isn't a reader unfortunately and so he only owns 2 or 3 books that are his, and those 3 are shelved within mine. The only exception to this is his collection of anatomy books. He has a weird obsession with the inner workings of the human body. Those odd books get their own shelf away from mine.

    1. Anatomy books sound fascinating (but expensive)! Now that you've mentioned that I'm going to have to be on the lookout at the next library sale...