College is typically seen as a time and place to reinvent yourself: to find new interests, new hobbies, a new image. I know people who have entirely changed sleeping and cleaning habits, people whose entire wardrobes have been changed, people how listen to different music and have changed their prospective major three or four times, across different departments. A lot of these changes seem to have gripped those around me, but have not found me. I however haven’t changed my interests, music taste or wardrobe – or even my intended major. I still drink too much tea and coffee, and horde mugs on my desk. More than anything – I still amass too many books, and stack them perilously when there isn’t any space for them. Back home, I have large bookshelves covering two of the walls, and shelves filling the middle of my closet, all filled to bursting, causing the wood and metal to bend in the middle under the wait, and even more books stacked in boxes against the fronts of shelves and walls for a lack of space, with every picture and middle-grade book foisted off onto my sister’s bookshelf. I am aware that it looks like the start of a hoarder’s episode. Because of this, the only book I brought with me to college is our summer reading “Color and Character”. Yet my shelf is full of books I have amassed in my time in college, not even counting the books I took home in cardboard boxes over winter break.
My bookshelf at school is built into the desk, not the wall. Books are lined up neatly, for the time being, and still stacked in weird positions because my books always look like I’m playing tetris. The books I need to read soon or am currently reading on top, the others lined up underneath. There is an odder mix of genres than my shelf at home which is mostly filled with YA (young adult) fiction and mass market paperback sci-fi thrift-store novels. My shelf here is full of books for classes this semester, a few from last semester that I forgot to take home, YA fiction books, a medical biography, pop culture analyze nonfiction books and two books about pokemon. There is a mix of books I bought myself and books which were gifts, books I have read and books I haven’t yet. There is a Davidson mug and the same instant coffee I drink at home, which I bring from Miami because they do not sell instant cuban espresso in North Carolina from what I have found. There is a mix of the old and the new, my roots and what I am moving towards.