Do nieces read War and Peace these days? Perhaps secretly. At my house a visit from a niece would go more like this: “Ann popped in suddenly after lunch; patched jeans, no socks, disheveled hair; wanted to borrow Peyton Place because she needed a trashy read after a chemistry midterm.”
Peyton Place, War and Peace–same number of syllables–I must be a genius!
I gave away two of my four copies of War and Peace, my favorite novel, because they were oversized and hurt my wrists to hold!
MY SHELF ARRANGEMENT DIARY!
Speaking of diaries, here is a Diary of a Shelf Arranger.
Years ago all my books fit in one bookcase.
Then my husband and I “colonized” a run-down neighborhood by buying a cheap house. The house was big and cold, and we wore jackets and fingerless gloves inside, but at least we had room for books. In our love of collecting books, we drove all over the midwest and haunted used bookstores (including The Haunted Bookshop in Iowa City) , library sales (we once went to one in Winona, Minnesota), and Borders everywhere. All those old library books with mylar covers and tacky stickers on the spine! And a copy of Barry Unsworth’s Sacred Hunger for 50% off!
Years later, we have so many books. And most have that “worn-out old-book” look because they were already ancient when we bought them.
So should I arrange them in the style of favorite used bookstores? Or would that be too formal for home life?
Here are a couple of methods I’m considering:
Should I start a separate Tess section?
3. If I Create a Thomas Hardy section, I have to create a Dickens section, a Jane Austen section, a John Updike section, etc.
4. But wouldn’t it be better to go by centuries? Shakespeare and Milton, 18th century, first half of 19th century, second half of 19th century, first half of 20th century, etc. That’s the way I think of books–in terms of centuries!
5. Put all the Library of America editions together. That probably wouldn’t work, though. I don’t have that many.