Blitzing the Bookshelves
20 June 2014 14 Comments
With my current books to bookshelves ratio, i had simply assumed organisation an impossibility for my books. The most organised i got was sections for read, sections for general to-read and one small bookshelf for my next planned 20 reads. The bulk of what you see there in my first photo is my general to-read section. It’s a mess. Or, it was…
I got it into my head recently to sort out my bookshelves. Even if i couldn’t organise them 100% to my liking, i thought there surely had to be a better way than haphazardly piled and precariously balanced. This idea didn’t have to sit with me long before i was pouncing on my books and pulling them from the shelves.
And so, last Saturday afternoon i soon found myself amongst a sofa piled with books. I didn’t think too much about how i wanted to try to organise things–that way lay madness. I just went for it. I decided to stop segregating the books i’d read away from the many books i had to read. I can remember what i have and haven’t read (and if i can’t, well, goodreads was invented for a reason, right?). So i piled up the books according to author, with several larger piles of authors i only have one book by. There was so many, i couldn’t fit them all on the sofa (or on the floor near the sofa, and still leave myself enough room to manoeuvre), so a few piles had to remain on the selves for me to work around.
The next step–the best step, as far as i’m concerned–was putting them all back again! I couldn’t resist some read/to-read divide, apparently, but when i have so many single books with no other by that author to pair them with, they are naturally drawn to each other (in my neat and tidy liking head). So, the top shelf ended up being largely (though not entirely) books i’ve read. The rest, i think, went by something resembling favouritism. With John Wyndham and William Golding taking pride of place as the front row on the second shelf. (I can’t even remember what’s behind them now. This might not end well…) Because yes, my books to bookshelves ratio is still too skewed to allow for a single row of books per shelf. It is a burden i will bear until i finally get my library.
I did also make better use of a small bookcase that had held the 50 books i read in 2012, until half of them were gradually removed and scattered around the house for some reasons i don’t even know. Now it holds (one row per shelf of!) authors i own more than just a few books by. It occurs to me now i may have put these in reverse order favouritism, but whatever, Hiaasen’s books are brightly coloured and jolly and nice to look at.
The many and wonderful Brookmyre books got housed atop my partner’s bookshelf, as they are, technically, his. (We may share our lives together, but mingling our book collections is a commitment neither of us may ever be willing to make.) (That’s a lie, i mingled some, in my commitment to keep authors together.) The lack of the rest of this shelving unit is because my partner’s bookshelf is still a mess, and i don’t want that contaminating this beautiful post.
For completeness’ sake, i also include a photo of my diddy shelf which contains the next 20 books i plan to read. Which for some reason are in order from right to left.
And finally, the books i have decided to say goodbye to. Whether loved or hated, these are simply books i know i will never read again. Now it’s time for someone else to enjoy them. And this may be the largest number of books i have got rid of in one go–i usually hate parting with books.
And that was my recent book blitzing adventure. I feel enormously satisfied. For days afterwards i kept wandering into the living room, simply to admire my shelves. My biggest worry now is what will happen the next time i visit a bookshop and come home with half a dozen new books…