The Reading Room

The A-Z of Books

How to arrange your library, or not!…..

Regular visitors to the sight might recall a post I wrote about moving house and with it my considerable book collection. Well, thankfully, the move is now complete and my library shelves have been expertly resized and fitted by my brother allowing me to be (finally) reunited with my books. Anyone who has moved house will understand it is a long, drawn-out and stressful period, books provide comfort in times such as these and so to be without them for almost three months has not been easy!

There were and still are, boxes everywhere, I managed to get the majority of my books unpacked and put fairy loosely on the shelves, I managed to alphabetize most of them until I realised I had quite a chunk missing. It began with wondering where my book of short stories by John Cheever was as I wanted to reread The Swimmer before reading Roger Deakin’s Waterlog which is inspired by Cheever’s story. It then dawned on me that I was missing all of my books by authors from C to H!!! I searched all of the rooms in my house to no avail but finally found a huge box marked C-H in the garage which then posed a bigger question…

I shall shortly take stock of a new purpose-built bookcase by my favourite brother ( I only have one, I find it is enough) and that is designed for paperbacks so I know have to consider which go where, do I alphabetize or arrange in subject matter? I seem to have fairly equal amounts of modern fiction, literature, spy-fiction, historical non-fiction and travel so getting it right will not be easy. But, either way, I can now enjoy the process of reorganizing and familiarising myself with my books all over again, and for that I am very happy and grateful indeed.

So this particular box contains a mixed bag of authors and is typical of my eclectic tastes really, there are some lesser known titles from the 60s by Bond author John Gardner, a few by Hemingway, most of the later Len Deighton paperbacks especially the masterful Game, Set and Match trilogy, the stunning Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Albert Camus, Lawrence Durrell, Sebastian Faulks, Michel Houllebecq and quite a few others. But as I type I realise I have not seen much from T to Z…where are my Richard Yates and John Williams??!!!!!

The search continues, in the meantime I shall leave you with one piece of advice, move house by all means but avoid repeating at all costs!!

Categories: The Reading Room

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