Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Chaos or chronology?

Having embarked on this little project, I find myself looking at my battered Billy bookcase with a slightly more critical eye.

Firstly, allow me to try and paint a mental (haha) picture of my little library. For starters library is an overstatement. Nine shelves with no obvious cataloguing, or apparent attention to detail would be fairer. But look closely and a very laterally minded person would make out brief patches of order. There’s the section of books about the Tudors. But as two of them are part of the rather brilliant Shardlake series, I felt as though fellow detective Cadfael would feel at home here too. Ditto DCI Rebus.

Naturally Rebus would definitely prefer the company of any Scottish books I have, and look, here’s Peter Pan. (Well, the author’s Scottish and quite frankly, Neverland? Where was I going to put that?)

Next up, Ross Kemp on Gangs. Oh no, wait that’s The Boy’s and therefore doesn’t count, but you can see where this is going.

I’d always been quite happy with my logic until an extremely scientific poll conducted at work this lunch time brought out some very interesting (and a couple plain weird) opinions on how a Book Shelf Ought To Be.

There was a good smattering of the usual halfhearted alphabetical and chronological types and a couple for whom books we’re obviously more of prettythingstoputonnicefurniture, who arranged books by size and colour.

My lovely next - desk neighbour has a similar idea to mine, albeit slightly more regimented. She orders her books by author and whether she thinks they would have liked the authors they are put next to. I quite like this.

And all of this, I suppose, begs the question how do you arrange your books?

(She says presumptuously presuming anyone reads this guff…)


  1. I would be interested to see what other people think. When I moved into my house this year, I had three shelves - two for non-fiction and one for fiction. I arranged the shelves in alphabetical. So far, so good. But then I bought some more books, and then some more, and then some more. And now I have run out of book shelves and have piles on the floor. So although the books on the shelves are still largely in alphabetical order, there are lots of books clustered around that really should be integrated. I need to sort out a new system and get some more shelves (note that I didn't get rid of my books, hehe).

  2. haha.. keep a look out for an amazing book shelf I'll post up later this week.. it could be right up your street!