I spent a few hours reshuffling the books in our house. As someone who has moved some 30 times in his life, you wouldn’t think I’d forget one fact, but I’ve been in my house for over two decades.
Books are heavy.
We have a bookcase in the living room. And there are some books there, especially some coffee table-sized tomes. Bit it also has my daughter’s homework, store catalogs (they are NOT mine), two clarinets, one tambourine (that IS mine), and miscellaneous otherwise homeless items.
Fortunately, the office where I write has almost wall-to-wall bookshelves. It is described in painful detail here. I had received a box of books on baseball which had belonged to Jack, who I saw at the Olin reunions almost every year. But there was no place to put them, unless…
The secret stash
I also have two bookcases in the attic. They are in use, and the contents are in a particular order. I have three Doonesbury collections, the four Elfquest volumes comprising the first series and a lot of books related to comic books and comic strips. It was clear. My Marvel Masterworks had to go upstairs. They JUST squeezed onto the available shelving.
I liked the look of them in the office. But, for the most part, I didn’t REFER to them. I might READ them. But the books I REALLY need in the office are the reference books. And I have a LOT of them. Music, television, movies, sports, the Bible. Some specific: Beatles, Dick Van Dyke Show, The Twilight Zone, even the index of The New Jim Crow.
But then I had to further rearrange the shelves, because, and I’ve known this for decades: books are of different heights. One does not want a paperback on a shelf designed for a tall tome. And the opposite doesn’t work at all.
Now, a few books from here, some shifted from there, and my new baseball books are shelved without leaving a massive gap in the panorama of tomes that I gaze at on a daily basis.
BTW, yes, I could trade in some of these for Kindle copies. But those don’t bring me joy. The panoply of colors and sizes and fonts bring me joy, and I’m really into joy right now.