As of the end of April, I had read 49 books so far this year. Books that live in the upstairs hall on a couple of tiny bookshelves which are older than my children. My husband’s books are on a brand new, hand built bookcase in the basement. I am thrilled with this arrangement. He is confused.
A few months ago, the husband built a bookcase for the basement so that we could “have our books downstairs by the bedroom” and also upstairs in the living area. The day he finished the shelves, he put a pile of his books on one of the new basement shelves. We admired the bookcase together. “This was a fun project.” “They’re lovely shelves.”
The next day, while he was at work, I took all of his books from the upstairs bookcase and moved them to the shiny new bookcase in the basement. Then, I rearranged my shelves so that they didn’t have to be vertically double stacked to keep series and authors together. The husband came home and stared at the bookcases while fidgeting with his beard hair. “I don’t understand why our books need to be separated. Don’t you want some of your books upstairs and some of them easily accessible when you are reading in bed?”
I can’t imagine how I would choose if all the Seanan McGuire books should be up or down or if I should be sure they’re shelved with Jim Hines since they’re the same genre/publisher or a thousand other sorting options. Even if I could sort the books into two definable shelving categories, that isn’t the main reason I chose to shelve them as I did.
Doug’s book collection consists of almost every book he has ever owned. From the assigned reading from his high school years all the way up to the books that I have gifted him on holidays, his book collection is an IRL source page of his life. It’s a museum.
My shelves breathe. With the exception of the authors/books that I keep because I love them too much, I hold onto series only until the author claims it is completed. Then, they get traded for new-to-me books. My shelves are this moment in time. They are filled with the stories and ideas that are currently bouncing around my head.
I am not more or less sentimental about the books on my shelves than the husband is about his. They’re just different styles.
He still doesn’t understand.