Sunday, July 04, 2010

Shelf life

Before by Pants

For the last two years my 'study' has looked like this. It's a study in name only as I never do anything vaguely reminiscent of study in there. In fact I rarely do anything in there except search for things I invariably don't find.

This has partially changed.

After by Pants

I now have one entire wall of bookshelves. I say partly changed because this is really only the tip of the iceberg in terms of book storage requirements. I will need another one of these and some smaller units as well. But it's a start.

The paper mountain is being slowly tamed into box files or archived for the shed. It's not that I'm one of those weird obsessive people who keeps every scrap but one does need to keep tax records for seven years after owning a business.

It took me about three months to save up for these shelves so I've already started to put money aside for the next lot. And the car needs to be serviced as well. I'm just glad the local library discontinued its monthly book sale. I've cleaned out the local charity shops of anything decent so I don't think I'll be acquiring any more books for a while.

When you spend a day sorting novels into alphabetical order, you do begin to see the point of Kindle. I don't objectify books. I don't think of them as particularly beautiful things. I like the practicality of them, especially their resistance to breaking down. I prefer to limit the number of items in my care that can go wrong because there are usually cost implications.

Books require very little in the way of ongoing administration, once the initial housing crisis is solved. When you've settled them onto their shelves you can forget about them. They lend themselves so easily to organisational order as well. If there's one thing I really hate, it's devising filing systems. There are always so many exceptions to bedevil any categorisation you come up with.

There is a certain satisfaction to seeing these books released from their shipping cartons. The prolonged business of settling into Seat of Pants has done nothing whatever for my mental health. I have spent too much time surrounded by cardboard boxes.