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Whenever I find myself unpacking my books after a move, I’m reminded how arbitrary distinctions between fiction and non-fiction can be. Right now, I have two antique book cases. My basic sorting strategy is to put the fiction in one and the nonfiction/criticism/philosophy in the other. This works, for the most part. But in some cases, its a bit forced. For authors who primarily write fiction, it seems a shame to put their letters or journals or a single volume of essays in a seperate place. In the nonfiction section, its tempting to go with alphabetical order throughout, but why file a book of essays about a particular critic under the title of some editor whose name you’ll never recall? So, there, I guess it’s “books by and about X” that should be grouped together. That works for most things.
These are the things that must keep librarians up at night.
Then, there’s the guilt: all those books you read part of, or never read, or said you’d read are still sitting there. And you wonder, “how much longer should I keep this one around?” and “why don’t I read like I used to?” I find myself making vows that I’ll read everything I already own before buying anything new. But I know life doesn’t work like that. And I’m not in the mood for big resolutions. So I’ll pick a volume or two that I overlooked before and try to find that spark that keeps the pages turning.
Nice redesign a Zeldman.com and a great My Glamorous Life entry which I should take to heart.