LifeAfterDx--Diabetes Uncensored

A internet journal from one of the first T1 Diabetics to use continuous glucose monitoring. Copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

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Location: New Mexico, United States

Hi! I’m William “Lee” Dubois (called either Wil or Lee, depending what part of the internet you’re on). I’m a diabetes columnist and the author of four books about diabetes that have collectively won 16 national and international book awards. (Hey, if you can’t brag about yourself on your own blog, where can you??) I have the great good fortune to pen the edgy Dear Abby-style advice column every Saturday at Diabetes Mine; write the Diabetes Simplified column for dLife; and am one of the ShareCare diabetes experts. My work also appears in Diabetic Living and Diabetes Self-Management magazines. In addition to writing, I’ve spent the last half-dozen years running the diabetes education program for a rural non-profit clinic in the mountains of New Mexico. Don’t worry, I’ll get some rest after the cure. LifeAfterDx is my personal home base, where I get to say what and how I feel about diabetes and… you know… life, free from the red pens of editors (all of whom I adore, of course!).

Friday, October 05, 2007

The family love of books

“That’s awful,” said Rio, truly shocked, “all houses should have a library full of books to read.”

I agree with you, but the fact stands that it is unusual. Rio had just discovered that not every house in the world has a library. Just houses he’s been in. Or come to think of it, houses I’ve lived in.

When I was a kid, living in Durango, Colorado, we had a huge living room. All across one long side was a massive floor to ceiling bookcase that housed the family books and my Mom’s collection of Native American pottery which we drove out to the Pueblo’s in person to barter for.

When I was a teenager I lived in the basement of my Mom and Dad’s condo, now in Northern Colorado. When we moved in the basement was only about half finished, so as a reward to being banished to an area with no windows (probably why I live on a mesa top with unrestricted 360 degree views to the horizon) I was allowed to have some influence on the final design. My room had a combined darkroom and bathroom on one side, a main room with a cork-board wall floor to ceiling, a water bed, a hammock, and a giant military surplus oak desk for my tiny traveling Olivetti manual type writer, and on the other side a converted walk in closet. The conversion was shelves lining both sides top to bottom and full of books. It was my first library.

When I went off for several sad years of college (not finished until adulthood) my various apartments featured book cases made of “librated” grey plastic Lucerne milk crates. I was at the Grand Opening of a Container Store in Colorado about a month ago and they now sell designer “milk crates” for, like, 49 bucks. I had no idea I was such a trend setter back then.

Post college, as a working photojournalist, my various apartments featured waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more book cases than the average man; some of wood, some still the grey plastic. I lost the big desk somewhere along the line. Probably my friends threatened to never help me move again if I didn’t get rid of either the desk or the books.

Our house of the last two decades started it’s life as a small 40’ double-wide mobile home. I say started, ‘cause it’s been added on to a number of times and isn’t going anywhere ever again. We choose a floor plan of a model we pretty much liked and started making modifications. The first thing I insisted on was the library. The design called for a master bedroom on one side of the house, a combined kitchen-dining room and living room in the middle, and two smaller bedrooms on the other side of the house. One of the small rooms became the library. We moved the door, replacing it with French Doors to the living room and got rid of the closet. I hired a local drunk carpenter with a good rep for craftsmanship to build floor-to-ceiling book cases for three walls of the room. He staggered the vertical support braces to create visual interest and sections of various sizes. The shelves on the bottom are taller for large books and the ones towards the top shorter for smaller books. Let’s you maximize the space. It also had a rolling ladder that never really worked right but looked great.

All this was built based on the measurements on the “blue print.” When the two halves of our house arrived at the dealer’s lot from the factory, our master builder delivered the sections of the library so they could ride inside the house during it’s final twenty mile journey to our land. Once the house was set he came up and set it all up. It fit perfectly. Never occurred to me at the time that it wouldn’t. I’d be a nervous wreck if I had to do it over; enough things have gone wrong in life since then that I’m quick to see the worst thing that might happen.

The other small room, now Rio’s headquarters, was originally a darkroom. In the early 90’s the lab business outgrew the house and got it’s own building.

Rio’s Grandma Jean’s house “in the sky” has a floor to ceiling book case all a long one wall of the living room, plus two more book cases. His recently deceased Big Grandma’s house had a room-dominating bookcase surrounding the fire place in the living room. Some of those books have now come to live with us and we’ve run out of space. Books are overflowing to other parts of the house. Rio has his own library of sorts in his room: two six foot book cases in one corner filled with books, DVDs, and assorted toys that have no other homes. Anyway, poor Rio had no reason to assume that all houses didn’t have libraries. It was quite a shock to him.

I had originally organized our library by subject. So all the fiction was over here. All the anthropology, archeology, and sociology was over there. Classics up there. Photography books down here. Criminology on the right. History all across that part, and so on. Then one day Debbie reorganized based on the color of the spine. Looks much better, but I’ve never been able to find anything since. Oddly, the cook book section stayed intact. Hmmmmmm…..

Well, I know all of that had nothing to do with diabetes. Or did it? It is important to remember that we are all living, breathing, human beings with a wide range of interests and activities. We are diabetics, and that takes up a lot of our time; but first and foremost, we are people.

See you Monday with lots of other interesting D-stuff including the Honorary Diabetic, what happens when you leave home without your insulin, and a Khaki update.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's what happens when they get out in the world, and go to school. They discover what others have and don't have. The color of spine sorting method has to go.. Is that true?!

12:24 PM  
Blogger Frayed Edges said...

My girls, now grown at 20 & 18, have never known a house without books so they are always amazed to run into people who "don't read." It just shocks them to the core. I am so glad to have given them that feeling.

And finally, at 42, and having just found the love of my life 2 years ago and bought my first ever house last year, I too have a library and not just bookshelves everywhere. I love having a library so my beloved books can have a home of their own.

Life IS good.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Chrissie in Belgium said...

Are we related or something - books and their shelves have always played a central role in my life too! Every house haas had its shelves. In Sweden our "library" has shelves covering all four walls. I designed them myself and after the carpenter built them - I did the painting. Only the doors and windows are "unbooked". I sort them by subject too. But the fiction I only file by the beginning letter of the last name. I laughed so much about sorting the books by the color of the spine. I have thought so often that I cannot remember who the author was of a particular book I am looking for but I do remember the size and color of the book. So color isn't such a bad way of finding books! Yeah I may be diabetic since 45 yers but books have been important even longer! Somewhere in my blog entries I am sure there are photos of my shelves....

11:45 PM  

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