10 April 2008

Ex-libris

Another month has rushed past, and I'm afraid there's been no blogging to be had. In the midst of juggling work and school holidays, and now the busy-ness of the children returning to school for second term, I've been re-arranging our bookshelves, which has kept me away from the 'puter. (Except for a bit of a current dalliance with e-Bay, but that's another story.)

It's been fun, attempting to create some order in three big bookcases. About two years ago, and while recovering from an awful headcold, I arranged all of our books by the colours of their spines. It looked great - and individual books were surprisingly easy to find - but I couldn't really do that again. This time our books are located in two rooms, and our newest bookcase has smart square 'pigeon-hole' shelves, so the look of the books is quite different.

This time around, I've organised the books according to category, not colour. Except for the orange-spined Penguins, which are all on one shelf and are colour coded.

There's been some surprises in this category focused arrangement; I didn't realise we had so much poetry. Which in itself was an odd thing to think, as we both have Arts degrees and I majored in English Literature. They sit above my collection of Shakespeare, which I took quite a bit of time arranging as I kept checking out the annotations I wrote in margins 20 years ago. It seems that in 1983, I was very concerned about the recurring theme of time.

I have created full shelves of non-fiction categories too, like the cookbooks that aren't in current use and therefore have been banished from my kitchen. There are sections devoted to interior design with a bit of gardening thrown in. And reference books for pregnancy, childbirth, and raising toddlers. Books with confronting titles like He'll Be OK (Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men), Some Girls Do (My Life as a Teenager) and The Puberty Book are now finding their way onto this shelf.

And it's been fun to discover the fiction too. Some of my Marian Keyes novels are mislaid, and I have a whole lot of dodgy chick-lit that I've obviously read, but can't remember their plots. There's also quite a few books that I've started but haven't finished, and which I can't yet part with.

A nice surprise was to find a Georgette Heyer I've had lurking around but had not read. She's one of those writers that I've been meaning to read for a while, as there's been a surge of interest in her work this past decade. I'm currently reading Devil's Cub, and I must admit that it didn't leap up and grab me at first. Too self-conscious in its creation of a time and place I felt. But now the story has hit its straps, and I'm enjoying it immensely. Just plain fun!

Naturally this task means that I have only increased the number of books on my 'to read' pile. And I've just joined a bookclub, so there will be even books that I must read (and find space for) this year.

And that can only be good.

2 comments:

Lazy cow said...

Are you going to post a photo of the bookshelves? I've got 1/2 of the kids' books on an Ikea Expedit (cube) unit arranged by colour, but I couldn't do my books that way.
BTW, did you know Marian Keyes (my guilty pleasure) has a new book out, This Charming Man.

delamare said...

I would love to post before and after photos of my bookshelves, but I haven't got around to downloading them. It's a long story, to do with my digital camera being drowned last summer holidays (my daughter put her open drink bottle in my bag, and the camera didn't survive). I'm currently using my mother's digital camera, and I haven't got all the connecting leads for downloading.

Our new bookshelves are Expedit too and I'm mighty happy with them!

And, yes I already have a copy of This Charming Man on my bookshelf. It's waiting for me once I've purchased and read my first bookclub read - Unpolished Gem by someone Pang. It looks good. MK is very much my guilty pleasure too!