|Hubby, Brandon, sorting|
I am decluttering my house one section at a time. This past holiday weekend I reorganized my bookshelves by ABC order within genres (as opposed to just ABC order). Beings my birthday is Friday, I was also able to guilt my husband into helping. (But really, the man loves me or he wouldn't be so easy to guilt!)
So as the hubby stacked books from the shelves in the living room and each of the kids' rooms (yes, I bought them all bookshelves and then commandeered them for my own use) onto our bed, I began sorting them by genre. I ended up with a decent set of genres, reminiscing previous reads and anticipating TBRs as I reveled in my stacks of books. There is nothing like the feel and look of a book in your hand. (I am anti e-reader, but that's a topic for another post.)
Even my husband had a few laughs at the tomes we passed back and forth. Ethan Frome, which he read after I talked him into reading "just a short classic," and it's depressing ending that left him swearing off books of my recommendation for quite awhile. Of course, who can blame him after I had years before, in my high school naiveté, let him purchase Moby Dick as his first attempt into the world of Classic Literature. Call me Crazy. Neither of us has read past the first page. It's taken a long time to gain that trust back from him, but Hunger Games cinched it for me and he's back to taking my recommendations.
Memories of late night readings and frenzied page turning came to me with each Jodi Piccoult we placed on the shelf...none as good as the first experience, Plain Truth. My pride here is that when it comes to Piccoult (as with the Hunger Games), I am what my high school students call "hipster," meaning I was reading her stuff way before she was broadly popular. I didn't jump on a bandwagon, so to speak. My husband's only comment to this piece of trivia: "This lady has an awful lot of books to her name."
As a matter of fact, my husband's thoughts along the way were as much fun as the event itself. By the end of the sorting process, he was picking out the classics himself, based on the sound of a title and cover pictures. He smiled when he picked up and identified Far From the Madding Crowd as a classic and I leaned over to show him Far From the Madding Gerund, a book of language essays on the more amusing aspects of grammar and writing. Not a classic, but beautiful in the overlap of phrasing (which I absolutely love...I could write a whole post on titles taken from other works and the complicated web of intimate knowledge it brings).
The smaller stacks and even the fairly large classics stacks were easy to order and shelf; however, fiction was the monster waiting under the bed! No joke, stacks of books toppled under the bed and dresser and I am convinced some gem is wedged under there even now, waiting to haunt me.
|Fiction, after the toppling|
To get a grip on the fiction section, my husband began divvying them up in 26 piles across the hope chest and bed...one for every letter of the alphabet. We then ordered them one letter at a time and shelved them, only to find we didn't have enough shelves. The previous chaos of haphazard books, stacked wherever I slid them in on top of rows or in front of rows, gave the impression of shelf space to spare. But in single, straight lines, not so. One of my favorites, the European cover edition of The Book Thief, is the very last book in my collection. There was no way that happy little Grim Reaper (technically named Death, and by far my favorite narrator), was going without a shelf on which to rest. So I doublestacked some series I'd already read to make room for one more shelf of books. It will do...for now.
Yes, I am nerdy enough to write about this. Yes, I was nerdy enough to take pictures of the process. Yes, nerdy me not only posted some pics here, but also (more than this) on FB. I can't help it. If it didn't risk being completely ostracized, oh the nerdy things I would write here and the nerdy pictures I could post!