A brief, bookish thought for today

Book lovers will agree on many things: that there’s never enough time to get through all the books you want to read, or that book shelves are never big enough to house all the ones we’d like to own.  Yet judging by some conversations I’ve had with my fellow book enthusiasts recently there’s one dilemma that divides us: how to organise our book collection.  It’s a question, I guess, that any collector faces whatever their passion.  (I remember a long afternoon spent attempting to rearrange my DVDs so that each one was connected to the one next to it by either actor or director.  I failed.)  My book system of choice is pretty simple: all an author’s book together, fiction separated from non-fiction – and that’s it.  I was intrigued, then, to discover a few weeks ago that a work colleague of mine shelves her books by colour.  And today I had an unexpectedly involved tête-à-tête with another bookworm about how she organises her books autobiographically.  These more esoteric arrangements leave me twitching slightly at the thought that they result in books by the same author ending up – horror of horrors – on different shelves….but they are undoubtedly imaginative and intriguing.  I particularly love the idea of using your book collection as a way of telling your own life story; I can certainly place where I was, both literally and emotionally, when I was reading each one.  So how do you curate your personal library?  I would love to know.

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