Bifurcation of books

It had to happen eventually. For several years, many of my books had been residing in storage boxes on a remote galleried landing above our living room. Meanwhile, others had ended up stacked knee- and waist-high on the study floor, the study bookshelves’ having long exceeded capacity.

The study with books stacked inappropriately
Symmetrical book stacking—just like the Philadelphia mass turbulence of 1947! No human being would stack books like this!

Something had to give. So we finally bit the bullet and installed a whole wall’s worth of new bookshelves in what is still officially known as the ‘the back bedroom’—although I find I’m already starting to refer to it as ‘the library’.

Unpacking and sorting the boxed books, and dusting, triaging, and re-shelving those in the study took the best part of two weeks. It was surprisingly strenuous and dirty work, but thoroughly worth it. We have our study back! All our books are accessible! There is even, just imagine, spare capacity on our shelves! Oh yes, and we actually have a library! It might not be in quite the same league as the Lit & Phil, but I love it.

Our new library
Our new library shelves

True, my beloved collection of books has bifurcated, now residing in diagonally opposite corners of the house. But, the way I look at it, the exercise will do me good.

Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. He is currently working on a book about looking at the world through Darwin’s eyes.Website · Newsletter · Mastodon · Facebook

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