From my diary

Interesting.  I’ve received two emails from this blog in the past week, saying that I requested a change of password.  I did not, of course.  So either it’s a scam, or somebody is trying to hack this blog.  Time for a backup, methinks.

For the last two and a half weeks, I have been laid low with a virus.  Today I find that I am finally starting to feel better.  Apparently this one lasts three weeks.  You get a raging headache, and feel very weak, but that’s all the symptoms.  If you get it, prepare for a long wait.

I have started to reorder my books.  This was spurred by my inability to locate my copy of C.S. Lewis, Perelandra / Voyage to Venus.  Back in autumn 2016, I had to pack up all my books into crates, so that the room could be repainted.  But, like a fool, I didn’t photograph the shelves before I removed the books.  So the books all went back on the nearest shelf; and I no longer remember where anything is.

I find that I have large numbers of paperback novels.  I think perhaps the best thing to do is to group the series of these together.  After all, if I had all the C.S.Lewis together, then at least I would know where to look for Perelandra!

Another problem is that some series are now “spent”.  That is, I have read and reread them as many times as I am going to.  I don’t want to dispose of them; but I really don’t think I shall consult them much if at all.  So I want to put these on the bottom shelves, rather than at eye-level.

If a series is still “open” – the author is still writing books, and I still want to buy them – then of course I need to allow for more volumes.  This applies to various series by L.E. Modesitt, for instance.  On the other hand I will never own any more Roger Zelazny novels than I do, as Mr Z is no longer with us.  The latter can be positioned lower down.

Today I have been pulling the novels off the shelves, and piling them together by author.  It seems that I was an avid buyer of the TSR Forgotten Realms novels, back in the day!  I have more of those than any other single collection.  I also seem to have an intimidating number of Garfield cartoon books.  But I also bought, perhaps in the 80s or even 90s, a number of Biggles books, which now leave me cold.  The ones that I owned as a child have sentimental value; many of the newer ones do not.  I have added the latter to the pile of books to go to a charity shop.

In some cases, one can double-bank the books.  I built most of my shelves from 7″ furnitureboard, so it is entirely possible to put a row of novels behind another on one shelf.  But this causes other problems, unless you know exactly what is behind, without looking.  It also acts as an even worse dust trap than normal.  But if all the books, front and back, are by the same author, perhaps that would work?  I shall have to experiment.  Having taller books in the back row can also work.  We shall have to see.

All the same, I do wish that I had fewer books; or rather, that I had some form of interdimensional cupboard, into which they could all go, and from which I could retrieve them at a thought.  I don’t really want to live in a library.  The novels are there to allow me to lose myself for a few hours pleasantly. They are not there to take over my life.

What do you do with a novel, that was once an old friend, but now is dead to you?

I have disposed of a lot of books in the last year, more than ever before.  I haven’t missed most of them in any way.  Somehow I feel restless.  Maybe it is just me.  Maybe it is a mood.  Maybe I shall wake up one day and think “Arrgh!”  Maybe not.


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