Writer fellow Mike Allegra recently shared glimpses of his tidy and bountiful bookshelves on his blog. His impressive library made me wonder: Dewey Decimal system? Library of Congress? Alphabetical by author? By title? By genre?
I confess, I’ve borrowed books from our local library that I am positive that I own, but cannot locate. It’s not that I own that many books. (Really, can one own TOO many books?) And they are not disorganized, at least in my mind. They are suffering from merger by marriage.
At one time, my apartment was bursting with college and grad school textbooks, as well as pleasure reading from Wordsworth, the Harvard Coop and a terrific used bookstore just off Brattle Street. I had everything beautifully organized, exactly as I wanted. With marriage came compromise. I merged my books with hubby’s, and shelf space was at a premium. Although our music collection was easily transferred to iPods and shared MP3 files, those books cannot likewise be transformed into Kindle or Nook formats!
Among the duplicates, we chose one to store, one to shelve. We kept both copies of The Joy of Cooking, because we had each annotated our favorite recipes. Then those shelves became crowded with manuals on home renovation, then Dr. Spock and The Baby Whisperer, then books on autism and special education. More old favorites were moved into storage, battling mildew and neglect in neatly labeled boxes stacked to the ceiling.
Now that my picture book collection is burgeoning, I’m craving a library/preschool style picture book case like Carrie Finison’s. Although I’d have to compromise with my kids on displaying and rotating all of our favorites, I have plenty of experience!
What books do you like to keep at your fingertips?