I have to stand on the file cabinet in my office to reach the top of my overflowing book shelves. There are at least a thousand books in this room and I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to organize them. They stay orderly for about a week. John says it’s the second law of thermodynamics.
Every room of our house has filled, and fairly neat bookshelves; but my office has my own personal favourites — and books I think will someday become favourites. That’s part of the problem. I have the books arranged more or less in sections according to authors’ last names. Daphne DuMaurier books are followed by Alexander Dumas. And Dorothy Sayers stands by John Steinbeck and Mary Stewart. Easy enough…
But one of these days I want to read She Said Yes by Misty Bernal, so I have that book on a shelf. But I probably won’t remember Misty’s last name, so I have it placed horizontally across the top of some books in the “S” section so I can see the title.
Then I have a few extra copies of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Glass Castle and other of such good books. When I find extra copies at library sales or somewhere, I want to hold on to them to give to friends. I can’t afford the shelf room though, so they’re piled sidewise on top of other books in the general area of Smith and Walls.
Someday I’ll solve this problem when I allocate a shelf for favourite give-away books – my sharing shelf. It will probably be the same time I set up my TBR shelf of books To Be Read. (Probably about the time we add a new wing to the house.) It seems to me that those would be two important shelves for a book lover’s library – a sharing shelf and a TBR shelf – since one of the best things about reading is talking about books with friends.
I have a several long-distance reading relationships: my sister Monica, and friends Jennifer, Geigy, and Laura. They are all so dear to me and when we talk on the phone the conversations always include “What are you reading?” I frantically scribble their suggestions in my little TBR notebook.
I go hiking with Emily every week, and that woman is a reading machine! (She also thinks I use too many exclamation points in my writing.) I can keep up with her hiking, but I can’t keep up with her reading. Every week she is reading some fascinating new book that is definitely destined for my TBR shelf.
And then there are The Lalas, my Ladies’ Literary League book group. That introduces a must-read book a month – and always well worth the read. And most recently I have joined The Janes, devotees of classic old literature. Which I love.
So many books, so little time. No wonder I don’t have time to organize the shelves. There are way too many books to read!