13 January 2012


The Great Book Re-Shelving of 2012 is . . . well, okay, maybe not done-done, but I have declared victory!

The sorting is rough. I did say that. I figure fine-tuning will make a good activity in ten-minute grading breaks. But at least all the right letters are together, and I discovered that some things I had with PRs are really DAs (the book of my best friend, who is not a historian, is a DA—who knew?), and others are BJ or BV, and oh man do I have a lot of HQs, more than I realized. It's a good thing that I deliberately left gaps as I worked, because I wound up filling them as I worked around to Z. There was almost a gap between HQ and PA, and then I discovered the art history books, which of course were with the Zs (because my interest in art history is only in manuscripts, so they are books about books), so now that gap is filled in with Ns.

Those books I wanted to leave out-of-place are now where the Library of Congress dictates that they should be, partly because I found another S and more bibliographies to keep them company, and mostly because it dawned on me that whatever the state of my own personal booklist (often somewhat in arrears) once the books are in LC order I have only to get online and check with a real library to figure out where they ought to be.

I should feel accomplished, I suppose. But I feel tired and stuffy (dust allergy), and still dissatisfied—yes, even though my desk top is mostly clear and there is now a second surface I can use for grading, and although all my work books are now in orderly ranks and all clean. And even though my admiration for Squadratomagico has grown by leaps and bounds and even though my dread of moving has increased by an order of magnitude.

It doesn't seem like enough.

I could clean the closet. I'd like to do that. Then there might be space in there for some odds and ends. I could go through boxes of papers and see if there's more stuff I could get rid of there. I could buy matching shoeboxes to store the stuff that's now on the tops of the bookcases, in actual cardboard shoeboxes; at least then all the boxes on the tops of the shelves would match. I could have all my books covered in matching bindings, as in a nineteenth-century gentleman's library.

OK, maybe the OCD is a little out of control.

(But seriously, wouldn't matching bindings be awesome?)

I suspect that the real problem is anxiety about classes starting, which triggers a series of thoughts about time passing, the state of the MMP in particular and my research in general (not to mention other work), getting older, mortality, and . . . you know what? A snowy Friday evening in January is not a good time, in the life of a person with SAD, to contemplate such thoughts. I hope to give you a post later this weekend on things to do and the state of various projects in a more rational vein than I'm going to be able to manage just now. I'd be better off going to the gym, if only to sit in the steam room getting hot and imagining that I'm in the tropics.


undine said...

Awesome reorganizing! I have to ask: did you put little labels on the spines?

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said...

I am so glad to see that I'm not the only nerd who organizes my books by LC classification--although I love the Cotton designations, too. I am sorting through my books prior to moving, finding it a difficult task to part with books I have been hauling around for a decade now.

I find myself cleaning in order to work toward some clarity of mind. I get a lot of satisfaction from the combination of the hope of a clean space and the mindless tasks setting the mind free to think about whatever creative things come along.

That said, I never have a cleaner place than when I am avoiding doing something that scares me; I can procrastinate with the best. However, try not to look at the half-empty glass--you've accomplished a lot of clarity with the bookshelves, so give yourself the victory.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

I discovered that some things I had with PRs are really DAs (the book of my best friend, who is not a historian, is a DA—who knew?), and others are BJ or BV, and oh man do I have a lot of HQs, more than I realized.