A friend tagged me in a Twitter meme of sorts yesterday evening – inviting me to post three random photos of bookshelves in my home, and to nominate three further people to continue the meme on it’s way around the internet.
After posting, the voyeuristic urge overtook me, and I started scrolling through the recent responses – looking at other people’s bookshelves. While wondering who had arranged their shelves specifically for the photos (I did not), I also became somewhat ashamed of my own bookshelves.
My bookshelves are not in any sort of order. There, I said it. While books of a similar type tend to be on a similar shelf than each other, in recent years the effort has been more about finding somewhere to put books away, rather than curating any kind of organised personal library.
There is a vague attempt at organisation going on – most of the fiction is in the lounge – in a row of bookshelves that wrap the entire end of the room from floor to ceiling. The books in the lounge ARE mostly in order – mostly because my other half did it. The study/junk room is a different matter – with books on philosophy, history, the internet, astronomy, and so on sharing shelf space with graphic novels, comics, and a hugely random assortment of books received for Christmas over the past several years – mostly filled with miscellaneous idiocy.
The WiFi router is perched across the room at the top of a very narrow bookshelf – originally used for compact discs in the lounge – now filled with my “to read” books, which had at one time been piled up on the bedside table in an alarmingly tall and somewhat dangerous tower. The reason there are so many “to read” books is of course because I can’t walk past bookshops. It’s a problem.
None of them are in a specific order.
I remember when my other half first visited my apartment, when we were first dating – she was horrified to discover my music collection was not in alphabetical order. At first I thought she was joking – expressing mock horror at the lack of organisation in my life – and then I realised she wasn’t joking at all.
Here’s the strange thing. While chaos surrounds me in every-day life, I am slowly becoming more and more organised. The children despair of me – always picking things up behind them, putting things away, and leaving rooms as I might wish to find them. It extends even further into the computer – with no icons on desktops, nothing in the trash, and everything in Google Drive organised into a simple folder structure. Hell – even the backup of past blog posts is arranged into year and month folders.
It seems everything in my life is ordered – except for the contents of the bookshelves. Here’s the thing though – what if you put all of the books in order, and then buy another book that doesn’t fit. What do you do? Have some sort of Sheldon Cooper meltdown, and pull all of the books from the shelves to start over, or just fall into the cluttered mess I have?
Anyway. Let’s just say I really liked looking at the other people’s bookshelves – but that perhaps I shouldn’t have looked, because now I’ve written this ridiculously long examination of my habits for you to read. If you made it to the end, you probably deserve a medal.