As I've announced here before, Joyce and I are sorting our thousands of books--making decisions (some easy, some horrible) about them. For more than a year (I do not exaggerate) we had so many piled in the living room in the front of our house that we could not use the room at all. Every chair, the small sofas, every end-tabletop--covered with piles of books that we had removed earlier from the room we call the "family room" (though, to be honest, I don't know what that room really is!?!?) because we were having some painting done in there. These were not books we'd shelved; there was no more room. No, these were books that we'd stacked on the floor, the stacks growing ever more Babel-y with every passing week.
Because my energy has not been too great the past year (thank you, Lupron), I've been loath to do anything about the living room. This was my reasoning: I have X amount of energy; I would rather spend it on things I want to do than on things I should do.
Joyce, ever patient (it's no coincidence that Joyce and Job share initial letters), did not once hassle me about that front room--did not ever do more than say something like "We ought to work on those books one of these days"--did not with the semi-passive aggressiveness I would have employed simply begin doing it herself. She waited. And I came around.
And so--a couple of weeks ago--we began. Fifteen minutes after supper. That was our deal. Right away, we determined that we needed to make categories, and here's what we came up with:
- signed-keep: signed and/or inscribed books that we want to keep for the nonce
- signed-sell: guess! We're going to open a "store" on Advanced Book Exchange soon--D. J. Doodlebug Books--and begin selling from our collection
- donate to library or give as gifts
Joyce bought some temporary shelving to accommodate our smaller categories, and just last night (Monday)--after an hour's marathon (let's just finish this!) we completed sorting and re-shelving all the hundreds of books that had been piled in our front room, which, as this picture shows, is still full of books--but mostly in appropriate places. The stack of books on the table at the left is a complete set of the James Bond novels written by John Gardner; we're going to sell them as a set--and I just need to carry them into the other room when more shelving arrives, courtesy of Joyce. Meanwhile, we will now be able to use a room that just a couple of weeks ago was a bibliophile's equivalent of a cat person's/hoarder's place.
Next comes an even more tedious part: typing information about each book we want to sell, uploading it to ABE. And, of course, decisions: Do we really want to sell that? And: Do we really want to keep that?