Friday, January 7, 2011

No Dewey Decimals Here

There is a terrible truth which I have been avoiding for a few months now, but must be faced. Much as I would like to simply forget and hope for the solution to magically put itself into place, it will not be so. Here is the plain and awful fact: I have too many books.

No, that's a lie. You can never have too many books. There are even books you can never have too many copies off. Which means that actually, I don't have enough bookshelf. I have passed the point where squeezing and strategic arrangement will make them fit, and have at least one shelf's worth of books more than can currently be housed.

And so, I will have to find more room for my books, which more than likely means making room in my room for another shelf. And that is only the beginning of a very serious and personal process. Because anyone who collects books like Halloween candy (and enjoys a similar high from digesting their loot) and harbors that strange sense of organization that never seems to translate into actually keeping things clean but likes to arrange things just so...well, they are bound to have their own way of organizing things. And it's not by Dewey Decimals.

Unlike my CDs, which used to be organized alphabetically (before they were imported into iTunes and boxed up), and my DVDs, which are alphabetized after separating film from TV, my books are much more artistically arranged by subject and when I read them. There are several shelves of school reads which were memorable enough (but not too traumatic) to make a permanent place in my heart. A little further back in time are my collection of extra-curricular young adult books, like Sweet Valley or, on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, Cynthia Voigt. After that, it's mostly fiction versus non-fiction, worthwhile literature versus guilty pleasures. There are a lot of personal choices which have to be made. And aside from accurate placement, it also matters that sections form neat, full shelves rather than spilling onto half of another shelf. Anthony Trollope should not have to touch covers with 'Knocked Out by My Nunga Nungas'.

So there you are. An all-too-disturbing look into the quirks which make everyday activities serious endeavors. It is exhausting being me.

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