I Have 7 Categories for All My Books

And one of them will help you with your creative endeavors

Sophie Lucido Johnson
9 min readOct 13, 2022
Illustrations and photographs by the author.

Last night I couldn’t sleep, and so I sat by my window and tried to find a star. Finding a star has helped me sleep since I was little; I like remembering I’m small, and that there are giant burning balls of gas that are actually HUGE but that look like pinpricks to me. The scale of things is impossible to understand, and the sheer ridiculousness of all this comforts me. But last night it was cloudy, and there were no stars. So I went downstairs to look at my books.

I have seven categories of books I own. I’m sure I’m leaving out categories that other people have, and I hope you’ll chime in in the comments regarding my oversights. But here they are.

Years ago, my book categories were all mixed up. This is no longer the case.

CATEGORY ONE: Obligation Books

Books I received as gifts, and so I feel like I can’t give them away, because what if the person who gave me the book comes over to my house and starts looking for the book they gave me? Someone went to great lengths to think of me and give me a book, and I haven’t even had the decency to imagine that I will read it, so it is the absolute least I…