In which The Great Rearranging may be upon us

It is not outside the realm of possibility that I have too many books. I know, it’s unlikely, and I’m not 100% sure that “too many books” is actually a thing, but it’s possible. What is definitely true is that I don’t have enough room to arrange the books that I have properly.

I am currently faced with a week off from work, and because I am an American I am viewing this less as an opportunity to relax and more as an opportunity to “get things done,” because the possibility of going a week without working or “accomplishing things” is just beyond my ability to comprehend. And I find myself casting an eye upon these bookshelves, and their current state of overpopulation, and thinking about opportunities to give myself a job that I can complete half of and then ignore for a year.

If you look at the top shelf of the middle bookshelf there (the top shelf, not the books stacked on top of the bookshelf) you will get an idea of what I’m thinking, because I rearranged that one as a test. I’m wondering what I can do if I shift to mostly vertical stacking on the bookshelves, especially the books that are currently perched on top of the shelves themselves. In theory, so long as the shelves themselves hold up, I can stack those clear to the ceiling– and if I use only completed series for them, which I’m also thinking about, I can put things up there that aren’t going to be rearranged all that much.

Understand that that is only the top half of less than half of just the bookshelves that are against that one wall alone, if you want to understand the magnitude of this job I’m contemplating.

I dunno. If I think about it long enough, I can switch over to stressing about how I had a whole week to get it done and didn’t do it. That won’t be especially mentally healthy, but it would certainly be less work.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

2 thoughts on “In which The Great Rearranging may be upon us

  1. We had this problem. So my solution from about 2015 was to buy most of my fiction books as digital copies and save my real-life book buying for award winners, text books and Australian authors. Since I read 100+ books a year this has probably saved my bookshelves and my marriage because I’ll buy maybe 15 real life books per year, then borrow digital copies through the local council library, or buy e-books through Apple Books. As to your collection: I recommend you keep your top selected books for each year and gift the remainder (or the ones you hated) to charity. You could create a local book swap or street library in your front yard. I almost prefer e-books now as I can alter the reading preferences for day or night reading, and they don’t take up physical space. The reading experience is the same because all the words are there in the order the author put them. Anyway, sorting your library: genre in alphabetical order. I have as genres the following: Australian authors; fiction; sci-fi and spec-fic; biographies; music scores; singing texts; research tomes; self-help; word books; travel books; psychology et al; other. I’ve double stacked in the past but these days don’t need to as we’ve so many bookcases now. Really it’s about culling the books you don’t want anymore. Enjoy spring break!

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  2. I suppose you could chip at it in 5 min stints every day- Or just when you’re walking past- I’m just gonna move that book there, or get rid of that one. You never know, you might trick yourself into doing longer stints.


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