So where to begin this project, I thought. First idea: Organize books alphabetically. But not by title. By author. Then all the Hemingways would be together and separate from How To Prepare for Small Claims Court (how the hell did I get that book?) Dumb Idea. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Have you ever had a cockeyed dream that makes absolutely no sense but you can’t wake up from? Well, that is me today and it’s only 10 am. I could ingest coffee beans for hours and still feel like I’m stuck in the toilet with a diving bell on my head.
I blame this unholy state on the brilliant idea I had round about the time (guessing 4:30 am) that the cat got zapped by a spaceship surfing into the inland valleys on the fog and skidded across the wood floors mindlessly ripping apart my socks (which were fortunately not on my feet). Oh yeah, today’s the day to finally start that project I’ve been putting off. I’ll just lie in bed where it’s warm and think the whole thing through.
Does anyone really have brilliant ideas before the sun is up? Word to the wise: If you want to start your day off well, don’t leave your windows open when the weather’s predicted to change. I went to sleep in sunny southern California and woke up on the moors of northern Scotland. Howling winds, fog, banshees, the whole nine yards, as my mother would say. And my brilliant idea … organize all of our books.
We have bookcases and bookcases full of books, some I’ve had since childhood. My books are primarily biographies, novels, short story collections and reference books. My husband, on the other hand, collects military history books, cook books, books on model trains, travel books, how-to books on every imaginable subject, art books and computer science books. And all our books (except the cookbooks) are scattered throughout the house.
Second idea: Separate by genre. First by fiction and non-fiction. Easy peasy. Wait a minute. That would separate Classic Greek Myths from the Iliad and the Odyssey. Okay … bad idea. You’ve gotta have a reference book in order to really understand the Classics, know what I mean?
In a dither I asked my bookish friends for advice. One of them said he organizes books by subject matter. Hum, The Civil War for Dummies along side Red Badge of Courage and perhaps a How To for applying a tourniquet? That’s a thought. My other friend warned against organization. She claims figuring those things out drives librarians to chew up their sweatpants. I only have a few pairs of sweatpants and in this lockdown, they’re already pretty thread bare.
4:30 pm update:
Here’s how my project has gone so far. At 10:45 am I picked up a copy of Capote’s In Cold Blood and thought – hum, haven’t read this book for a while. Read a few pages. Ahhhh. Made a cup of tea and sat down and now I am in Kansas. After all, tomorrow is another day! Right? Got any tips on organizing a book collection, other than eating your underwear?