Last fall I visited the library in the aftermath of the semi-annual used book sale, when the remaining books were free for the taking. I lost all sense of decorum and came home with 68 books and 19 record albums. Never mind that I have no way to actually play any of the albums.
At the recent spring book sale, my husband and I went on the final day of the event when the books were $5 per grocery-sized paper bag. Between the two of us, we filled one bag with 25 books which works out to $.20 per book. I felt much more in control, unlike before when I wondered if I should look for a nearby chapter of Book Hoarders Anonymous.
When I had free time later I chose a couple of the books to peruse. From the stack I selected the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip collection and a book called Free Style that’s specifically about creating artsy scrapbook pages.
The reason I brought Calvin and Hobbes home wasn’t so much to read the comics, though I do think they’re kind of cute. But I loved the drawings and when I looked at them, I thought to myself, “Gee, how great would it be to get out my colored pencils and fill these in? A coloring book for me! Hooray!”
The second book interests me not so much for whole scrapbooking thing (which I don’t do), but rather for the artsy way to make generic collages. There seems to me to be a fine line between a layering of “stuff” that looks just wonderful and one that looks like crap. And I’m trying to get a handle on what that distinction is.
As I sat there coloring neatly between the lines with my rainbow of colored pencils, thinking about the collage-style greeting cards I could make, I realized that my book choice revealed a right brain/left brain struggle. The color inside the lines mentality is all about order, logic, facts, and details (left brain.) The glue a bunch of unrelated stuff on a piece of paper mentality is about imagination, symbolism, fantasy, and risk-taking (right brain).
Which took me to another of the books we had brought home, The Natural Superiority of the Left-Hander. My husband and I both write and eat left-handed. We use scissors, play the guitar, bat, and hold a tennis racket right-handed (to the extent that we do those things at all.) Our kids are completely right-handed, except that one son bats left-handed. What a confusing jumble! No wonder we’re so mixed up.