UPDATE: The response was so great that I decided to give away all five books! Congratulations to the following winners. Send your address to marlacooperauthor @ gmail.com to collect your prize.
- Green Stripey. Kathy Gonzales
- Red Literary. Marcy Konecny
- Japanese. Katharine Kan
- Be filled with joy. Kim McMahan Davis
- The Kiss. Beth Peters
Lately, we’ve been trying to reduce our household book collection to only what will fit on four bookshelves. Seems reasonable, right? I mean, surely our gradual accumulation of books wasn’t infiltrating every corner of our house. Right?!?!
[Quick deep breath before I continue…]
I’d been fooling myself into thinking that we didn’t have that many books. Just the four bookcases full, plus a few stacks hidden away here and there. I mean, there’s a shelf full in the kitchen, but those don’t count because they’re cookbooks. And there are some stacked on my desk, but those are for reference. And as for that pile of mysteries hidden away in my bedside table, they’re required reading. Who could blame me?
The idea of going through all the books at once Marie Kondo-style stressed me out, so instead, we took the Kaizen approach of selecting a few each day so as not to alarm our inner book hoarders into thinking we were doing anything out of the ordinary.
We did a pretty good job, too. By the time we carted our haul off to Half Price Books, we had eight boxes full—enough to stock an entire fifth bookshelf.
But the one stash of books that I didn’t touch were my blank books. I’ve grown my collection steadily over the years, and their blank white pages represent pure potential: Lists I’m going to make. Books I’m going to write. Dreams I’m going to pursue.
The problem is? There are very few that I’ve actually written in. The one with colorful geometric patterns is full of notes from different writer’s conferences. The red one is waiting for me to resume the fun doodles I stopped doing in it about 9 years ago. The spiral-bound one on the right says “Writer” on the front and is full of great ideas that I will probably never get around to writing.
At this point, though, the number of un-written-in blank books exceeds the number of things I need to write in blank books. I use cheap composition books for my morning pages (thank you, Julia Cameron!) and I use my laptop for keeping track of plot ideas.
But I still believe in these books’ potential! I think they’re begging to be of service. They’re all, “Hey, Marla. Don’t you want to write something profound in us? No? Okay.”
And if there’s one thing I learned from gradually clearing out our book stash, it’s: baby steps. So I’d like to pass one of the books below on to someone who will fill its pages with brilliant ideas. Or random thoughts. Or knock-knock jokes. I’m not here to judge.
Leave me a comment below with which book you would like and what you would write in it. (It doesn’t have to be deep; I’m just curious.) I’ll draw a winner on Thursday and announce it in Friday’s post. (
Don’t want a book? Say hi anyway. I like hearing from other book addicts.
Your choices are:
Green stripey. Unlined pages, magnetic closure.
Red literary. Unlined. Has the heft of a hardcover classic.
Japanese. Unlined. Covered in pretty paper. Sparks joy.
Be filled with joy. The only one with lines. Opens flat for easy jotting.
The Kiss. Cover artwork by Gustav Klimt. Larger, unlined pages.
Marla Cooper is the author of TERROR IN TAFFETA, an Agatha and Lefty nominee for Best First Mystery and book one in the Kelsey McKenna Destination Wedding Mysteries. Her second book, DYING ON THE VINE, is set in the California wine country and comes out April 4.