Monday, April 7, 2008

My best day ever

I worked this weekend at the Mother of Twins sale. No, we weren't selling Mothers of Twins. Don't get smart with me!

Anyway, I came home and told TK that I spent about an hour on Saturday morning rearranging a whole crapload of books. He said, and I quote, "That must have been your best day ever." He wasn't being sarcastic. I gave him a look and he said, "What, you love books and you like rearranging books."

That's true. I don't know if I'd classify it as my best day ever, but I do have a weird fascination with organizing books.

So how are your books organized? Do you alphabetize by last name of the author? Do you break up your books by genre? Size? What's your system?

When TK and I met, granted I lived in a dorm room and had a small collection of books with me, but I used to organize my books by size and color. Big books on the left, and colors ranging from darkest to lightest from left to right. I'm a very visual person, and I remember my books by what the covers look like, so this system makes tons of sense to me. It drove TK insane, though. So, now our book shelves are separated by genre and alphabetized by author within each shelf. Although my one concession is that I still separate hardcovers from softcovers and move all the oversize books to the left side of the shelf. I just can't have them jutting out willy-nilly in the middle of the shelf, even if that's where it technically should be.

Of course, our bookshelves go in cycles. Currently we're in an "overloaded" time, with books stacked where ever we've been able to fit them. Soon, we'll have to cull through to donate some and then I'll re-alphabetize. And perhaps that will be my best day ever. Wedding day, the day my kids were born: sure, those we good days. But can they really compare to reorganizing books?*

Random unrelated thought: I just read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I really loved it, probably because the style of the book is so familiar and comfortable to me. It presents a very believable picture of what I've imagined life is like for a person with autism, although the main character was far more able to function normally than many of the children with autism I used to work with. I loved all the lists and the logical layout and how every thing the main character does is does for a distinct reason. Really wonderful. I know it gets mixed reviews, and I was afraid it wouldn't be well-done...that it would be too reliant on autism stereotypes, but I found the characters to be reasonably well-developed. I especially like how it obliquely touched on how difficult it is for the parents of a child with autism (or any severe special need). It was really interesting to see that through the lens of the child.

*Disclaimer: I'm totally kidding. Just thought I'd clarify for people who don't get me.


Amnesia said...

I loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. LOVED IT. I found it strange and fantastic and haunting. I also liked Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern - a murder/mystery involving an autistic boy.

KCRSummertime said...

I separate fiction from non-fiction, and fiction is alphabetized by author. Non-fiction is loosely separated by genre, but not organized within it. Partially because if you only have five books in a category, you're going to be able to find what you want even if it's not in alpha order, and partially because a lot of the nonfiction belongs to the hubby, and I have never read them, nor will I.

OH! And I recently decided to separate out the mysteries from fiction, because series take up so much dang room. So those are also alpha by author.

I'm really glad you like Mysterious etc. I decided I'm not going to read Running w/ Scissors yet - I need a novel to cleanse my palate after the Kingsolver.

Snickollet said...

In this instance, TK and I are the twins separated by birth. I categorize by genre, then alphabetize within genre. Except for the twins' books, which are "board book" v. "non-board book," non-alphabetized because I'd spend my whole life keeping that system up.

KCRSummertime said...

Oh yes, I forgot to say about kid books. In the olden days (i.e. before I had a kid), I alphabetized my kid books by author, too.

Now my system is to try to keep some books on the shelf, instead of just strewn all over the house. My current system isn't working very well.

Amnesia said...

kcsummertime - I am with you. If they are on a bookshelf, I tend to be happy now. Or even stacked neatly NEAR one. Oh the horror~! Our books used to be sorted by type and then author... now, not so much.