Earlier this week, my daughters helped me with yet another large book reorganization project. For the last 5.5 years, the shelves in the master bedroom (three pine bookcases my husband finished for me — complete with our heart-enclosed initials on the back — in 1983, 1985, and 1986) housed my Joyce Carol Oates and Kurt Vonnegut collections, as well as the remnants of my Arthurian literature obsession and my stash of mass paperbacks. The remaining shelves held new acquisitions, which, after being read, would be sold, donated, or blended into the main library.
The obvious flaw in this system was, of course, that my acquisition rate continued to outpace my reading rate — this despite the radical reduction of the former and the uptick in the latter. We were, therefore, routinely shifting “new” acquisitions into the main library before a verdict (Sell? Donate? Keep?) had been rendered. Why? In order to make room for newer and newest acquisitions.
As we prepared to shift and file, my youngest suggested that the bedroom become a more static collection. Brilliant! Shakespeare, Sherlock, Melville, Fitzgerald, poetry, and the volumes of Lyttleton / Hart-Davies Letters joined Oates, Vonnegut, and Arthur; the smallest (and oldest) of the original bookcases, which serves as my nightstand, became a true TBR station; and the main library, which stretches from the living room, over to the piano room, down the hallway, and into the so-called “girl cave” (essentially, a second living room) was shifted to accommodate all of the rest. Several boxes of books were donated, and we brought three large bags of books and movies to Half-Price Books over the weekend.
Between that project and preparing my daughters for their move to university, I haven’t read as much as I had planned this week, but I will be able to post some notes tomorrow.