I have been contemplating my bookshelves recently. I’m very lucky to have an entire room to myself in our house, and it is lined with shelves that are covered in books (apart from a modest gaming wall). And yes, the day I moved all my stuff in here was probably one of the best days of my life 🙂
So I thought I’d share my thoughts with you and see what you think and feel. I’ve narrowed it down to five things, and I’ll be writing about one each week, so please do make sure you catch them all. There may be tears, there may be arguments, but let there always be books.
1. Tidy books, tidy mind
The most important thing you should know about my bookshelves is that they are sacred to me. They are my hallowed ground.
I am the kind of person who likes to be organised and orderly, assigning items to a rightful place and getting satisfaction from items existing in their rightful place. My books are no exception. They are alphabetised by author and then by publication chronology. Frankly, a bookshelf that is not organised by some parameter or other is an abhorrence to me. I don’t care what the parameter is – author, title, reading chronology, cover colour, page count, whatever – as long as there is a measurable system in place.
I know some of you will thrive in chaos and think I’m a crazy person, but I also know that a lot of people out there will know my feelings exactly.
More importantly, there is not a cracked spine or dog-eared page in sight. The vandalisation of the printed word is also an abomination to me. I know there are people who derive great pleasure from bending books to their will and mangling spines, but to those people I say this: take a good, hard look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what kind of person you want to be.
Countless times has my stomach twisted in revulsion at witnessing some careless commuter or over-zealous student bending pages back over themselves or liberally scribbling notes in the margin. A talented team of people spent weeks, months, years putting that publication together, and that’s how you treat it? Horrifying. Not one single mark mars by books.
And I never NEVER lend my books out to ANYONE. That is a schoolboy error that I only ever made once and a road that leads only to the return of a defaced volume. I’m having palpitations just thinking about it.
A scar on my books is a scar on my heart.