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Burgeoning Bookshelves

There’s a full moon tonight, the annual Harvest Moon––––big, bright, and bold––––reaching its peak illumination at 7:54 p.m. in the northeastern sky. Usually, I have trouble sleeping on either side of full illumination, but all this past week, I couldn’t wait to go to bed. There’s a nip in the air, quilts beckoning, and I have a stack of books piled on my nightstand, a little of this and a little of that. You see, I’ve decided to go through my bookshelves with the goal of severely reducing my collection.

(Illustration from The Summer Book by Tove Jansson)

Here’s the plan. Look through my overstuffed shelves of books with three categories in mind: Definitely Keep, Time to Move On, and Still Considering. Stack ten books from the “Consider” pile by the bed and read the first ten pages. If I want to keep reading, keep the book. If not, it gets moved on. My goal is to find at least a hundred books I’m willing to move on by the Winter Solstice. That way, I’ll be able to fit some of the books currently stacked on dresser and tables and floors into the opening spaces.

Friends, this is the full moon energy talking, my waxing on about this grand book-culling undertaking, knowing in about a week, I’ll be deep inside the middle of a fat novel that was ​somewhere in the middle​ of the first stack of ten. So much for my big plan of letting go. (I’ll let you know what novel it is.)

In the meantime, let’s have some fun with the books on our nightstands.

​Creativity ​Prompt

1.) Open the book nearest you to page 59.

2.) Choose a line from the page, randomly, or choose one because you love it.

3.) Copy the line at the top of a piece of paper, a lined page, or a blank sheet.

4.) If you’re writing, make this the first line of your piece. Set a timer for 30 mins. Write.

5.) If you’re collaging or painting or dancing, use the line to inspire your choices.

Here’s mine…

And gradually the wind came up, sometime during the night, and by morning there was a regular southwester spitting foam all over the rocks. (The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson)

Note: The Summer Book is a definite keeper.​

If you find this prompt helpful, let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

~ Jodi xo

PS: If you can relate or wonder why I have so many books, you might want to read my short essay found here…


This is a great prompt, Jodi! Thank you! Mine was (random), “You had better go inside; it’s getting dark.” from Jenny Boully’s The Body.

Jodi Paloni
Jodi Paloni
Sep 20, 2021
Replying to

I love that you've given this prompt a try. I wonder what will come... Jodi :)

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