Putting books in order

May 18, 2006

I love being surrounded by my books. library_stacks.gifBookcases filled with old school textbooks, hundreds of books on music, sheet music and scores, a whole case dedicated to poetry, a whole case dedicated to metaphysical exploration and religion, and across from those shelves is a wall of LPs (yes, LPs), many of which I’ve had since the early 1960s. In the closet are shelves of cassettes screwed into the wall. Below them is a large metal shelf full of CDs. Such is the life of a 53-year old musician/composer/music teacher/music lover.

We all know about procrastination. When I procrastinate composing, or am stuck on a passage unable to go forward, or just need a break, I love to put a bookcase “in order.” It’s a task that uses a different part of the brain, giving your creative side a chance to quiet down and percolate. I can be sorting books by author, or topic, or size, but in the background I am working out the next musical passage in my brain. The same is true when I take naps. I take 3 to 4 naps a day on days I don’t teach. They are sometimes a minute to 15 minutes long. I wake up with the same energy one wakes up with in the morning, and begin composing again.

Today, I get to put some bookcases together in the garage. Magazines, software and synthesizer manuals, paperbacks, and other books we don’t need in the house. I’m giving myself a reward of putting them in order assuming I finish my blog for the day [done] and a page or two of music for “Hepzibah” (the first Wilder chamber opera).

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