Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Shelving

There's a scene in High Fidelity where Rob explains his autobiographical record cataloguing system to Dick and Dick groks what an undertaking that is. It's a funny scene. I've never shelved my books alphabetically, there's always a system or a couple of systems at work that make perfect sense to me, but would make it difficult for anyone else to find a particular book in my collection. For instance, if I want to find Crowley's Little, Big, I know that I have to go the shelf for "sci-fi/fantasy books of marginal interest I bought prior to 1995, didn't get to, or, started to read and didn't get far enough into to that I felt like had to finish right away, so I put them aside for something more interesting and haven't gotten around to but think I probably will when I'm in a budgetarily enforced book buying lull and don't feel like re-reading a classic." Finding I used the receipt as a bookmark (page 45, I must've started it right away and only put a half hour or so into it) is kind of neat on the personal/archeological level. I know now I was in Boston on January 18, 1992 at 5pm in a bookstore on Newbury St. Now that I've finally read Sterling's Heavy Weather I can move it from it's old spot next to Crowley and put it with the the Gibson and Attanasio books in "overrated author/sci-fi" in the "signed/hardcover" subsection. This'll be a lot easier when everything I own isn't in boxes.

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