The Book Migration

Setting up my new apartment is a lengthy process, involving many cycles of shopping, positioning, evaluating, and making lists of what's still missing.  But possibly the most important part--the one without which I couldn't have felt properly moved in--was moving and arranging the books.

The first part took a while to accomplish, spread out over two weeks and several stages, and mostly taking advantage of my brother's limited free time and strong back.  Slowly, The piles of books started accumulating in my new place.

I spent most of yesterday sorting, forming teetering, alphabetized piles.

With more than 30 Discworld books, the letter P is the big winner of this construction project, though M (MiĆ©ville, Mitchel, McEwan, McDonald, Morgan), and C (Crowley, Chabon, Angela Carter) weren't far behind.  I, O, and U had only one representative each (The Weight of Numbers by Simon Ings, The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, Morality Play by Barry Unsworth), and poor Q and X are entirely absent.

And the final result:

This is the first time in years that I've been able to see all my books properly organized, instead of shoving them on top and in front of one another.  It makes a nice change.  And yes, your eyes do not deceive you--that's empty shelf space at the bottom.  Something must be done.

(The final count, incidentally, comes to about 600--slightly less than I was expecting, actually.)


Moving books always feels like a strong argument for e-readers.
Anonymous said…
Congrats on the new place. You know, if you pull all the books forward to the edge of the shelf, they look neater, but it also means you don't have to dust the front of the shelves.

(I learned this tip from my mom, who has a mania for avoiding dusting.)
Unknown said…
@ginnad - But then, out of sight, out of mind, the dust collects instead in the cavity behind the books, and years later you pull out your signed limited edition of Silk and the pages are rather a sorry state.

This mistake I made.

I am the Books editor at Before It's News ( Our site is a rapidly growing people-powered news platform currently serving over 3 million visits a month. We like to call ourselves the "YouTube of news."

We would love to republish your blog's RSS Feed in our new Books section. Every post would have a description of your site and a link back to it. Our visitors would love to read your content and find out more about you!

You could also publish excerpts of your books if you'd like :), along with links back to pages where they are for sale.

It's a great opportunity to spread the word about your work and reach new readers. We don't censor or edit work.

We will be featuring and promoting content and book excerpts across the web.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Sebastian Clouth
Books Editor, Before It's News
MisterMumi said…
I love your books!
Recently I had to move all my books out of my room so that it could be decorated, and then move them back in again. I didn't have the energy or the time during either of the moves to be careful about where I put them, so they are now in completely random order. After years of having them painstakingly arranged by genre (mainstream fiction, sf/f, non-fiction by topic: history, science, politics, biography, philosophy) and in alphabetical order by author, I am finding it strangely pleasant to look at my shelves and see utter chaos. The Lord Peter Wimsey novels are scattered throughout the room, as are the Lemony Snickets. On a single shelf, I can see The Homemade Soap Book sitting next to Living in the End Times by Slavoj Zizek, which is next to Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers. It makes it hard to find any given book, but on the other hand the likelihood of finding something randomly interesting seems to have increased.
Adam Roberts said…
The 'R's are frustratingly obscured in your left-hand photo ...

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