We’ve spent the weekend rearranging our bookshelves, a task long overdue. Every couple of years I go through and reshuffle books from one room to another, grouping according to the way we use them. Historical and realistic children’s fiction in one bank of shelves, kids’ sci fi and fantasy in another, nonfiction here, poetry there, and so on. Scott’s collection of composer biographies and music criticism used to have its own shelf, but those books have migrated all over the house because he reads in every room. Picture books have the most migratory habits of all: they’re everywhere, stacked on the hearth (it’s San Diego; in six years we’ve never lit a fire), crammed into baskets, piled beside beds. Most of them have a permanent home in the Rose-Beanie-Rilla room, but the lower shelves of almost every bookcase in the house (we’re upwards of two dozen now) are dedicated to overflow picture books. You never know when you might need to stop folding laundry, eating, or sleeping to read Caps for Sale.
Now that we’ve reassembled the historical fiction collection comes the really fun part—arranging them in chronological order. I utter that sentence without a trace of irony. If I ever got a tattoo (which I won’t, because needles), it would have to say BORN TO CURATE.
What have you in bloom?
“The exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting…is denied to me.”