Beware of Books that Creep in the Night

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”   Anna Quindlen

“Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.”   Jessamyn West

“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.”  Henry Ward Beecher


Recently in talking with friends we discovered a serious problem, in that our books had mysteriously overrun our homes.  We realized an unknown fact…that our books were procreating … like bunny rabbits.  In leaving our books alone in the bookcases at night, soon we discovered extra stacks of books on shelves, our desks, the floor, and any empty space available… overnight.  So how did this happen?

To begin with, I am an avid reader of a variety of genres, so memoir, fiction, nonfiction, business, medical, religious, family history, and a little magic sit quietly in my bookcase… or so I thought.  Now what I realize is that I have made a serious mistake as to where I place my books.  I should keep the books separated by category and not mixed up on my shelves.  You see my fiction books consist of historical and modern day romance, mysteries, true crime, and detective stories.  However, I also have an interest in mystical subjects and magic as Houdini sits on my shelf too.

So due to this radical expansion of books around my house, I set-about finding the reason, as Sherlock Holmes was always my hero and favorite book.  First, I set-up a surveillance camera near my bookcases so I could watch to see what hanky-panky was taking place in the evening when I was sound asleep.  First, Reporting Technical Information started to take note of the happenings as Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal was only interested in getting his Sleep till Noon.

Then suddenly, in the Blink of an eye I saw The Boys in the Boat, being young men, decide that Getting Personal with The Lady Risks All created Naked Heat and before I knew it I had A Season for Scandal on my hands.  At the same time, I noticed Tightwads on the Loose battling Against the Storm while Writing Life Stories, so they didn’t notice The Pirate and the Pagan creeping up on them even though the pirates were heartily singing Departmental Ditties and Barrack Room Ballads.

Wouldn’t you know but The Dark Earl spotted The Innocent, so Against the Odds and The Games People Play she found herself In the Bed of a DukeTarzan the Terrible Seduced The Otter Spirit in the Hot Rain during A Walk in the Woods and discovered that the Innocent was Insatiable.

On the other side of my room Don Quixote was busy singing Songs of the Soul while Enchanting Lily with Pearls of Wisdom when sitting on Folly Beach. But Don didn’t see King and Maxwell sneaking up with The Black Box with the intent to Kill Alex Cross. However, The Three Musketeers brought in 179 Ways to Save a Novel and during the Cross Fire while Doing Work You Love changed Alex Against the Odds into the Reluctant Suitor pursuing An Old Fashioned Girl through Temptation and Surrender.  But being an old fashioned girl she said, “When I say No, I Feel Guilty.”  Now being In the Arms of a Stranger Lord Vanity wickedly purrs, “I Believe You’re Mine!”  The old fashioned girl never believed she would Desire a Wicked Duke while wandering around in The Museum of Innocence.

So here I thought that when I turned out the lights in my house and peacefully trudged up to bed at night that the books would rest peacefully in their place on my shelves.  Little did I know how the various genres would interact with one another while alone in my bookcase.  I now understand how my books managed to multiply so quickly.  Be warned as to the shenanigans that happen when you leave your books alone at night, as the quiet Abraham Lincoln, A History could turn into A Rogue by Any Other Name!


About Gwynn Rogers

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, Gwynn has moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching her granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer”, Gwynn can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing her fantasies on her treadmill. Gwynn currently freelances for magazines.
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38 Responses to Beware of Books that Creep in the Night

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Thanks Dianne. Somehow your comment snuck in and I was not notified that you commented. Thanks for stopping by and I’ll try to figure out what is going on with my blog not communicating to me.

  1. Tina Peterson says:

    This was SUCH fun to read and it truly sent my imagination spinning! I think you should explore more of this genre. Thanks for the ride! Tina

  2. Susan Scott says:

    O this is sooo clever Gwynn thank you! I just had a look at my bookshelf and wondered if I could make up a story just using titles and it’s possible! This would way lay me overly though as my imagination went into overdrive. Books do get up to tricks … especially when they hide – on purpose.
    My books are sorted by category, sort of but omgoodness they do shift around. Obviously they’re checking out their neighbours on different shelves. I guess I can’t deny them their spirit of friendship.
    Thanks Gwynn.. a remarkable blog!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Susan, it is sooooooooo interesting what is hiding in plain sight right in front of us. Even I had no idea of the craziness in my bookcase. However, NOW I understand why I have more books then my case can hold… sneaky things! 😉

      Thanks for laughing with me! You know what? We ought to put a challenge out there to see what stories others could come up with based on their book case… it would be interesting.

  3. Pat S. says:

    Thank you, you wonderful student of Sherlock, for clearing up the mystery that has been occurring at my house for a long time. Fortunately a couple of years ago, I separated my children’s books from the other genres. Books for the younger generation are on shelves in a room of their own. At the time, I didn’t realize the danger, but now I know I’ve been protecting them from adult ‘shenanigans’.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Ohhhh, you are SUCH a WONDERFUL parent for protecting those children’s books from the adult books! Definitely keep an eye on those kids as you never know what mischief they can get into! My granddaughters are a perfect example of mischief-makers… so BEWARE!!!!

      Thanks for stopping to comment!

  4. Pat S says:

    Thank you, you wonderful follower of Sherlock Holmes. You have cleared up a mystery that has been happening at my house for a long time. Fortunately, several years ago, I separated by children’s books from the adult genres. At the time I didn’t realize the danger, but now I know I have been protecting them from adult ‘shenanigans’.

  5. Ha Ha. This is so good and witty, Gwynn. Books overtaking our lives, moving around, developing a life of their own, or better yet the characters in the stories deciding to run amok all over the place, having their wicked fun. I feel like my books are doing the same. Just the other day I was looking for a book which I had put on a bookshelf and of course, it wasn’t there. I searched and searched wondering if I had given it to a friend, or maybe my husband decided to read it, even though he hardly ever reads fiction. A few days later, when I stopped looking, the book fell off the nightstand when I reached over to grab something else. How did it get there? No idea.

    There are books all over my house. A couple of years back, when I got a Kindle, I donated a few boxes to the library, but some I simply cannot part with. They remind me that thoughts, too, are personal and not just a bunch of data on a tablet. They belong in a book, with covers and pages and the feeling of turning them. As much as I love reading from my Kindle, there’s no way to replace reading form a physical book.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Oh Silvia, I’m laughing. What is the name of the book that disappeared only to fall off your nightstand unexpectedly? The title may give you a clue as to why it disappeared! 😉

      I can see the advantage of owning a Kindle or a Nook, but frankly I prefer holding a book, turning the pages, folding the corners to mark my spot, or to pull out of the bookcase for future reference. I grew up with books. Sadly, due to several moves I had to part with quite a few of my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ books, but houses simply don’t have enough walls these days for a library.

      However, I suspect that it turned out to be a good thing that I gave some of the books away as my family’s books may have been scandalized as to the escapades the younger books were getting into! Books are so much fun!

      Say, I am trying to challenge friends into seeing what their books are doing in their bookcase… are you up for a challenge?

      • Up for the challenge, yes, I am. 🙂 Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on that. School started and everything went a little crazy, but I think I’m back to normal … whatever ‘normal’ is. 🙂

      • Up for the challenge, yes, I am. 🙂 Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on that. School started and everything went a little crazy, but I think I’m back to normal … whatever ‘normal’ is. 🙂

        • And now that I’ve blog bombed you with repeated comments, just want to say quickly, if I don’t answer, maybe drop me an email, ’cause I do want to be part of whatever you’re organizing.

          • Gwynn Rogers says:

            I’m giggling! Wellllll, I DO want people to comment on my Blog… so Thank You! 😉 So far, only you and Susan have shown a possible interest in spying on your own books to see what mischief they have been up to during the night, when you think they are quietly lying there. Susan is out of town right now and won’t be available until the end of October.

            I would suggest, that if you are so interested that you let the world know what your books have been up to at night. Maybe we can get Susan to do it too. So sadly, that is as far as my organizing has gone.

  6. Patty says:

    Very clever and funny! Great job and what a use of a very active imagination! Well done.

    PS: Do you really have all of those books? 🙂

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Oh trust me Patty, I have all of those books and FAR more. However, I was starting to run out of ideas as to the mischief the other books could get into. I need to put more thought into the stories of my older books so that I can work them in. On the other hand, maybe my other books simply were hiding from my camera so I couldn’t see what they were getting into!!

      Thanks for commenting!

  7. Very, very clever, Gwynn. Very smart. I enjoyed this. As with Susan, I organize my books by category and by author — but, then, there’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and the “Fifty Shades” series — I don’t know what goes on at night there. Of the latter, I prefer not to enter my library in the middle of the night.

    I wrote a similar story (to yours) some time ago, on my blog, “Nights at the Round Table.” This one is a conversation among famous authors. You can search for it on my blog if you want to read it, if you haven’t already.

    Thanks for writing this fun story.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      I have forgotten who all was complaining about having more books than shelf space and wondering how that came about. I have books stuffed everywhere. In some cases I even have books two deep. Plus, my magazines are stacked next to my printer and the pile is now nearly taller than the printer. I suppose one of these days I need to discard some, but I just have a hard time throwing out things “I MAY need.”

      It does seem that my piles of books mushroom over night, so there had to be a reason other than my purchasing too many books… so voila! Now I know what is taking place in my house. They do say “Buyer Beware.” Well that goes for the books that you purchase too!!

      I’ll have to go see if I can find your Authors at the Roundtable!! Is that like Roundtable Pizza??? 😉

  8. Very clever. But if you seriously have way too many books taking up more space than you have for them, there is a one word answer to how to store books without taking up any space – kindle!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      I am DEFINITELY a book person. I would terribly miss holding a book in my hands or folding corners, turning pages, etc. I grew up with a library so I feel at home with books surrounding me. I even have a book from the 1700s.

      Now, I don’t know why but your comments sneak in so my blog doesn’t notify me that you commented. I wonder why. I stopped in to see if I could learn more about gravatars and here you are. Thanks for commenting.

      • Glad to see your blog back. Yesterday all your links went to a page that said your domain had expired. No idea what was up with that.

        I did get a cover for my kindle that opens like a book, so it feels like a book when reading it….but then I discovered the kindle app on the smart phone and forgot all about the kindle and its cover.

        • Gwynn Rogers says:

          Hmmm, when I renewed my blog, maybe someone forgot to post it. At least this time they caught the mistake… before I did!

          I know there are benefits to technology, it simply is that I am a Techno-idiot and prefer doing things the “old” way. Besides, I’m a romantic. I wouldn’t want to discourage my books from horsing around too much! 😉

  9. I do have a magazine issue; that is, a problem: I have a dining room size table stacked with them. I must go through them, don’t want to miss anything.

    My blog post is titled “Nights at the Round Table,” Gwynn. Just type that into the search box on my blog and it’ll come up.

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Yes, I keep stacking my magazines. I suppose it might help if I read them too. I have so many magazines, they don’t fit in my bookcase.

      I’ll check out your “Nights at the Round Table.” I may have already read it as it sounds familiar.

  10. TJ Bren says:

    I’m glad to see someone shine light on this serious issue. I have a confession: my books took over my home years ago but I was afraid to speak out.

    I was fortunate enough to live in a big old Victorian that had a library. When I moved into the house, my modest collection of books huddled together on a shelf like a frightened group of school children. However, like you, I found that more and more books seemed to appear. It was almost as if my little group of frightened books called in reinforcements. And the reinforcements called in all their friends, and, well, that was all it took.

    When I moved out of that house, I donated over 5000 books to a local library. Somehow, that little group of books I started with managed to turn into an army bent on the occupation of my entire house!

    What’s worse, is that once books know where you live, they follow you. The remnants of my library have been secretly calling out to their friends. It’s happening again! I keep hearing that little girl’s voice from the movie Poltergeists; “They’re baa-aa-ack!”

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Ohhhh TJ, I’m so GLAD to hear that books are stalking you too. I thought I was the only crazy person. I can almost hear their little voices snickering all around me. The books are multiplying so quickly I may end up being boxed into a corner of the house. If you don’t hear from me… dial 9-1-1!!! 😉
      Thanks for verifying that books have a mind of their own! Us humans have to work together!

  11. patgarcia says:

    This is an hilarious post. I truly do think that books live out their lives and move around when I am asleep. However, I have added to the problem. I have started buying most of my books online and even though they are downloaded and place in my kindle iPad app, I still think that they move around. Every time I open up my app, it seems as if the books as misplaced themselves.
    Some people can say that is a part of my imagination. I believe that where electronically transmitted or bought from a bookstore, books have a certain spirit that induces life.

    Nice post.


    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      You do realize Pat, that we have an electromagnetic field in our bodies that gives us spirit. With all of the books you have but in electronic form, of course, they are procreating as you have them all mixed up in that Kindle of yours….empowering them! BEWARE!! 😉

      Thanks for stopping by before your long trip home. Have a wonderful time, but be careful of what your books are doing while you are sleeping! 😉

  12. This is such a fun read Gwynn. You’ve got me glancing across at one of my many bookshelves, and I’m chuckling at the thought of the interactions which go on among those shelves!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      You do TRULY need to keep an eye on your books. They are incredibly sneaky! I don’t know about your books, but mine definitely are promiscuous… as I have no idea of how I ended up with so many books taking up my counters.

  13. Marsha Lackey says:

    Leave it to you to have books with erotic, late night business going on. I had wonder for years why I was shopping for more bookcases or paying to have them built for me. Then I began traveling from one place to another. I had to leave boxes of players and tramps for others to worry about. Now I am settled again, perhaps, and they are taking over in such short time. I will be more attentive to those hussies again or they will over take my daughter’s space. Serves her right, in a way, since during her youth, she was reading and, being a young child, not knowing what was going on in her room to cause the over flow into the wall to wall bookcase that covered the east side of the living room. Thanks for the detective work. I will be more attentive. And thank you for your wonderful, detective work. Great story!!!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Marsha, Sherlock Holmes definitely mentored me, that is for sure! Of course some of the books I read may explain why the Hanky-panky was taking place. But it definitely was fun snooping. Hmmm, I didn’t realize I was a voyeur too! 😉

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