I’m having a problem with my bookshelf.
Let me start off by saying that I’m currently extremely happy with the organization of my bookshelf. I have it organized into genres, alphabetically by author. I like this because even if I can’t remember who an author is (for example, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I read it like, ten years ago, and I have no idea who wrote it), I can still find it easily because I remember the genre. It’s organized, it makes sense, and everything is quick to find.
So what’s the problem?
I have adult fiction (as opposed to sci-fi or fantasy) broken into two sub-genres: “classics”, or books written before I was born; and “contemporary”, or things written after I was born. I don’t know, 1900 didn’t seem quite right, and neither did 1950, so I just went with my birthday. Whatever.
The classics shelf has always been pretty crowded and will always remain crowded. I love classic literature, and most of my favorites were written in the 1800s. Even when I don’t like them, I prefer to keep them on my shelf for posterity. It makes me feel fancy to have The Great Gatsby and Jane Eyre and Tom Jones on my shelf. Especially since I’ve read them.
The contemporary shelf is one of the least crowded shelves in my library. Not because I don’t read them, but because I am cautious of buying books I don’t know are going to be good. I don’t want to be stuck with some random book nobody has ever heard of that I didn’t even like 20 years after it was published. When I do buy contemporary novels I didn’t enjoy, I also feel less obligated to keep them.
At least, the contemporary shelf used to be the least crowded. Suddenly it’s filling up, and I realize there’s only room for one more book on it.
What do I do?
Option 1: Combine contemporary and classics. I don’t think it will help, the classics shelf is also quite full.
Option 2: Combine fantasy and sci-fi, which many bookstores and libraries do because they are often very similar. However, my fantasy shelf is also in danger of running out of space. I like fantasies!
Option 3: Buy another bookshelf. That’s my favorite option! But sadly, I’m running out of room in my study/craft-room. I don’t think another bookshelf would fit. Curse you extremely convenient and needed closet space!!!
Option 4: Completely re-do the whole thing, and combine all of fiction alpha by author.
I actually rather like option 4. It’s simple, and it would create a lot more room long-term. However. How on earth will I ever find Red Mars? I’d have to either stare at my bookshelf for the several minutes it would take to browse every single book I own, or I would have to google it. Which, to be fair, took about fifteen seconds (author Kim Stanley Robinson, if you’re curious), but it’s the principal of the matter! It’s my personal bookshelf, not a library! I shouldn’t need a digital catalog!
Option 5: Get all of the children’s books out of my library and into the kids’ playroom. That would open up two whole more shelves for me.
This is probably what I will end up doing, but it just breaks my heart. I don’t want A Wrinkle in Time anywhere but my bookshelf! It’s MINE. My own. My precious.
I don’t like any of these choices (except get a new bookshelf, which is IMPOSSIBLE!). What I really need is some Time Lord technology that will make my bookcases bigger on the inside.
So, bookish friends. Help me. What should I do?