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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bookshelves, reordered


Our son is leaving home and among the many odd tasks the event sparks is reordering the bookshelves. In a liberating moment he decided that he should not hold onto much. Out go the comic books (well, some of them - his father wanted to keep a few), action stories he loved at age 10 and all the hieroglyphics information and books that were his passion from age 9-14. That gave way to Chinese, which he is now studying.

Boxes have been filled for his old school swap sale, with some special favorites in a bag for the boy down the street, much younger, who wants to follow in Liam's footsteps and study martial arts and Chinese. I won't say where the physics and math textbooks went, once Liam gleefully learned he will never have to study those subjects again.

We are now confronted by the disorganization of nearly 20 years of our own books that were pushed aside, shoved up a shelf or down a shelf or moved around the corner to another bookshelf, while a growing child's reading matter took precedence. When kids are growing up you put books where they can reach them. They come in tall, skinny shapes and short fat ones, so sometimes you redo the books to fit the shape.

All of a sudden we need to think again about our books. When we last did this, without Liam's, we each still had our own, so there were Ellen's books and Nick's. We still have those, but we have many more whose shelf allegiance is less clear. Yes, of course, we can organize all novels together, all travel books in one place and non-fiction elsewhere. I like to keep my writing books separate from his economics books, however. His shelves of chess books really don't mix well with my garden books.

I had thought I would make a cup of tea, let my eye drift along the titles and then start dusting and moving books. I now see that this requires at least a pot of tea, perhaps some discussion and the courage to pull everything off the shelves in the belief that they will all make it back up there, preferably before our daughter, sleeping late, joins us. She delights in disorder, and adding to it.

6 Comments:

Blogger overlalune said...

oh keep the comic books - my sons sold their complete collections of Tintin, Astérix, Ric Hochet, Lieutenant Blueberry when they left home and we really regret it - in fact we sometimes re-buy the odd album!
The website LibraryThing is a great help for sorting books - I'm busy putting all mine on there.

9:37 AM  
Blogger whistlestop caboose said...

Ha, I know where you can get some of the old ones. Tintin, Astérix are definitely not leaving home, but there is some discussion about Lt. Blueberry and a few others.

Wow, I should have known a person in book publishing would have a system for this - I just checked out LibraryThing, http://www.librarything.com/ and it looks very tempting and fun.

1:03 PM  
Blogger overlalune said...

tempting and fun - yes it is, especially since they have started groups.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Perhaps as a distraction or possible guidance for reassembly of your book shelves I was tagged for a book meme that could lead you on a tour of books starting with many gardeners at its core.

11:12 AM  
Blogger whistlestop caboose said...

I'm fuzzy on what being tagged for a meme is, and I suspect I'm not alone. Explanation, please, if you have time?

4:29 PM  
Blogger Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I was a little fuzzy too so I looked it up.

In the world of blogs and bloggers, a meme is an idea, question, statement or project that is posted in one blog and answered to in many other blogs. Memes are used to propagate ideas in the blogosphere. Some blogs or web sites post memes on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.

You can see it in action at my blog and follow it from there.

7:12 PM  

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