Saturday, May 20, 2006

In the stacks

My windows are wide open, I hear bagpipes (??) and the voice of a male radio announcer, and I am surrounded by stacks of books. I'm in the midst of a monumental rearranging project, one that's causing some amount of distress. I've acquired a new bookcase -- a hand-me-down from the roommate who moved to Germany -- so I finally have the chance to get the stacks of books off my floor. Only problem is that my room's on the second floor and the new bookcase (due to space considerations) is on the first floor.

Obviously, I can't keep my books in alphabetical order any more -- moving books from one floor to another just to make room for the M's would be annoying and unfeasible. So I've just finished dividing my books into the following genres/categories:
  • reference books and anthologies (will go upstairs, next to desk)
  • books in languages other than English (downstairs)
  • sci-fi and fantasy
  • math books
  • illustrated books (comics/graphic novels/1 art book that was a birthday present years ago)
  • poetry and drama
  • fiction
  • non-fiction/philosophy

Making these divisions was surprisingly easy, although there were a few twinges when I separated books by a single author, say Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own from To the Lighthouse.

But which do I keep upstairs, and which move downstairs? The last two categories are the largest, and I think one needs to stay up here and one get exiled (relatively) downstairs. But will it be fiction or non-fiction that gets the boot?

UPDATE: It's done: fiction is downstairs, along with all of my French books, neatly lined up in one row of uniform black-and-white spines (Does anyone else have a love-hate relationship with the monotony of Gallimard and Folio Gallimard/Folio (Folio is the imprint of Gallimard, I believe -- that's what moving your French books a flight away will get you)?). Vacuuming still to be done.

1 comment:

La Lecturess said...

A few years ago I completely reorganized my books so that the majority of them (excluding reference books, for example) were in chronological order by period, starting with the ancient Greeks (literature, history, criticism on) and going up to the present.

I like this system in most ways, but it does mean that I've often had to separate 20th C. works when one was written at the beginning of an author's career (and so should go with other authors of that period) and one 40 years later, at the end. This distresses me somewhat.