For reasons I can’t go into here (because they’re severely boring) I’m in the midst of cataloguing all my books. Every single last one of them. This involves She Who Must Stand On A Chair Because She’s Too Short To Reach The Top Shelves reading out the author, title and price, and me thumping it into a borrowed laptop.
Holy poopoly! I knew we had quite a lot of books, but I had no idea how much I’d spent acquiring them. If anything ever happens to the house – like a satellite careening from the stars and smashing down on the library / dining room, or a rampaging wildebeest breaking in with arson in mind – our insurance company is NOT going to be happy. Some of these volumes cost 0.45p new (Hell, some are marked ‘three and six’) but replacing them will cost a fortune.
And it’s been strangely comforting: making acquaintance with books I haven’t thought about for ages. She Who Must reads out title, then begins the discussion: good book, bad book, indifferent book, great book. Some we’ve both read, others we’re recommending to each other. Books, books, books, books, books... Slows things down, but some things have to be done.
Then there’s the book that are missing. I know I bought them, I know I’ve read them, and I sure as heck-fire know I didn’t throw them out. So where are they? Best guess is that they either got stolen when the flat we used to live in got burgled (an odd thing to steal, but maybe our thieving bastards were more highbrow than your normal robbing scumbags), or they’re still sitting in a box somewhere, waiting to be unpacked. Or we’ve leant them to someone who hasn’t bothered their arse to give them back. Bastards.
I’m hoping it’s the ‘still in a box somewhere’ option.
But looking at the shelves – wall to ceiling, designed and built by Gordon TFL* - we’re going to be at this for a while yet. We’ve got as far as ‘O’ in the fiction section. Next up ‘P’ through ‘Z’ and then it’s on to non-fiction.
Maybe we should adopt the Dewey Decimal System?
* The Father-In-Law **
** Didn't really need to use footnotes there, but now that I know it annoys Mr White...