I recently moved all the furniture in my apartment around because I was bored, and that's just how I roll (in reality we have a 6 month old daughter and are desperate for more space). Something amazing happened when I moved my bookshelves.
Having worked as a bookseller for some time now, I'm quite traditional when it comes to shelving. It's always alpha by genre, with the literary books first. But that always meant that my sci-fi collection was at the bottom and not at eye-level, where I would prefer it.
A bookseller's bookshelf at home should be a source of pride and identity. After all, we are meant to be the people who KNOW. We know what to read because we read it ourselves. We know the difference between what's cool and what's simply popular. We know what we like, we know what you like and we know what your uncle who you have to buy a birthday present for who doesn't read much wants. So our bookshelves should be full of prestige, fantastic authors, books that mere mortals haven't heard of and plenty of proofs that we somehow forgot to return to the communal pile at work.
So since I had pulled everything off I reflected on what my bookshelf said about me and decided to reorganise. What to do? Put my sci-fi at eye level? But then my literary books would be down the bottom and visitors wouldn't think that I was smart. Keep the status quo? No. The answer was simple. Annihilate the boundaries. Smash it together and live with the consequences.
Book snobs now recoil from my shelves in horror and run, screaming from my apartment when they see Blue Mars next to The Satanic Verses or The Finkler Question next to It. Personally, I find it quite liberating and have been telling everyone about it. And I have been completely forbidden from doing the same thing at work.
Written by Mark