04 January, 2010

Book Sorting Day Is a Very Dangerous Day

Don't ask me why, but somehow yesterday I had this brilliant thought: "Hey, I'll just take an hour or so and weed out the books I don't need anymore." 

Five hours later, I finally finished.

Somehow, glancing through the shelves for surplus-to-requirements books turned into a full-scale rearranging session.  Well, there were gaps, now, weren't there?  And the science section has rather drastically overgrown its original home, while the mythology section is shrinking (yep, my books are arranged into categories - blame the fact I used to work in a bookstore).  And due to space constraints, several books that should have been shelved together had ended up scattered through the house any-old-how.  So I tore everything down and built it back up.

I learned a few things.

One: my living room floor vanishes quite quickly when the contents of a few shelves are stacked all over it.

Two: I have an entire bloody two-shelf bookcase full of books I haven't yet read, and this is before my gargantuan Amazon order's arrived.

Three: parting with particular books, no matter how old or useless they seem, is a wrenching and terrible thing, even when I know I'll never need them again.

Four: I still feel I don't have enough books.  There's these gaps in my categories, you see.

Some people might tell me to get a Kindle and be done with it.  But there's just something about paper books that can't be replaced by some fancy little machine.  I can't imagine falling asleep with a Kindle over my face.  Really can't imagine taking a bath with one.  And it doesn't have the glorious anticipation of twiddling the page between your fingers as you read, knowing that in a moment you're going to turn it and come across something really brilliant, so you're making sure you're ready to flip that page over as soon as you've finished the current one. 

No, I'm stuck with the shelves o' books, I'm afraid.  Which means that someday, I shall have to rearrange the furniture, because there's only so many books I can part with, and only so many that will fit in the closet, before more shelf space is required. 

You know you're a bibliophile when you select apartments based upon the available wall space against which you can place books.

So, yes.  Although the labor was exhausting, it's left me with a warm, fizzy feeling of contentment.  And a blank bank of shelves right beside my bed, just waiting for those tomes arriving at my door later today.  Which was rather the point of the whole exercise.

And the cat shall have a new box to play with.  Everyone shall be happy. 


Nicole said...

I have books spread between two states at the moment!!

My mom has a lot of my books (some of them quite old) since we couldn't move them when we moved to Florida. I'm hoping when we visit (soon?), I'll be able to select some I've really been missing to bring back with me. Specifically, I could really use my Norton Anthologies!

Karen said...

We've lived in our current house since 1986. That's a long time to collect books! The shelves are full, there are piles of them on the floor, and there's an Amazon order due to be delivered today.

Periodically I do pack up a couple of boxes of books and give them to my local library for their used book sales. But I'm generally swamped with the things, and yet I can't help but get more books!

Andre Vienne said...

I've got the same issue, but I've got a slightly different way of dealing with it.

I only have two bookshelves at the moment, and I always get the urge to buy more books. So, I go to the cheap places where they sell books in "All You Can Fit Into This Bag For $5" configuration, mostly Friends of the Library type fundraisers. 28/29 books in the bag later, and we're set.

However, I don't put a book up onto the shelf until I've read it. So I have a stack of books by my desk just waiting for me to get to work on them. And I generally just read one at a time.

I've got 44 waiting.

I -will- get a Kindle, however, because if I didn't, I'd eventually never be able to move to a new house again.

Andre Vienne said...

And entirely random side-thought:

When I read the title again, I heard it in Rocko's voice from Rocko's Modern Life.