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.
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.
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?
19 thoughts on “Hemingway prepares for a Small Claims Court Battle”
You are a brave woman, letting the whole world see the titles of your books. Every defrocked librarian who has taken to cat burglary will contemplate raiding your treasures. Jude the Obscure, which gave rise to Martin Eden, is one of my favorites. I was also glad to see you had a first edition of the Ibsen Cycle. Few people know that Ibsen was an early bicyclist and it is thanks to his efforts that the Tour de France became such a hit. Sad what happened to his hair at the end of his life and the damage from faulty bike helmets was obvious. I searched in vain for your published work. Where do you have those volumes? Probably the same place as me, near the fireplace. At any rate, this was a funny piece and anything with your dreams is helpful to the rest of us. We want to know what makes you tick as you toss and turn in your bed at night. Thanks. Duke
Thanks Duke. I did not know that about Ibsen and his bicycles. Interesting …. Ah my poor long lost volumes! I noted on Amazon that one of my books was published in 1803. My goodness, no wonder my ass is dragging.
Heh. I know the feeling about not being totally awake after weird dreams. The toilet and the frogman are a new concept.
I’d like to see a librarian chew on sweatpants. LOL!
I’m always an advocate for alphabetizing but, when it comes to books, if the damn things fit into the shelf, there they go.
Many years ago I met a cartoonist for the Stars and Stripes and he made those doodles on a piece of note paper as we talked in the Officers Club as all the military brass proceeded to get drunk and the evening’s entertainment began. I often wonder what happened to him as he was quite talented.
The drawings were very cool.
I LOVE your bookcases. That’s actually what I’ve been doing these days. Our books were too scattered all around and we needed an extra one. Now B’s got his own bookcase as well.
We all must have our own bookcase! I’d love to see a picture of B’s bookcase!
Dangerous opening books. You don’t know where it might lead
Reading a good book is definitely more fun than figuring out how to organize them!
This is a universal truism
This essay is an exciting ride!
Good luck with your book project. My books could use some organizing too. But I doubt if I’ll ever get around to doing it.
Writing about thinking about organizing books is definitely easy than ever doing it!
I used to organize all our books by subject and still do in some of our bookshelves, but the bookcase I see most often is in the home study. I’ve put the books there into a color-coded configuration. I balked at doing it but now that I see it, I’ll admit it is pretty. And calming.
Yeah, you don’t have Hemingway yelling at you because you’ve placed him next to a How To manual! In a color coded world all are equal! (okay that makes no sense at all but it’s the quarantine….)
Mine are also arranged by color. It pleases me.
That makes more sense then trying to figure out how to arrange them.
I totally get this. The thought is there but the body is unwilling. Some days I force myself to do tasks before treats.
I’ve done that before but my problem is books are the treats! I pick up one and want to revisit it. Anything else seems unfriendly.