So, some day when one of us becomes extremely wealthy… you know, when #2’s partner’s long-lost great-uncle dies and leaves him his hundreds of millions… we’re going to buy a three story flat in San Francisco. #2 and company will live on the top floor, my family will live on the bottom floor where the running of small feet won’t bother anybody, and the middle floor will be our joint library. (Yes, we know it would be smarter to have the library on the bottom floor, but #2 will be rich enough that they can reinforce it or something.)
While I was viewing the shots of #2’s bookcases, I realized something horrific. “Oh man, I don’t think we could ever consolidate libraries though,” I typed. “I’m itching to go through your shelves and sort by author alphabetically.”
Fortunately, that turned out not to be a problem. “You could curate my books for me. You could even add yours in. I would keep them in order once they were in order,” she replied. Apparently she doesn’t have her own strange filing system that I just wasn’t understanding. They’re just not… in order. *twitch* You know that episode of Big Bang Theory where Sheldon goes to a party and organizes his hosts’ closet and begs to be allowed to take the button box home to organize in the car? That’s totally me. Though mostly with bookcases and spice racks. I’m not a clean person, but I love my alphabetizing.
Well, it’s not quite fair to say that they’re not in order. She does have them in “an order.” “For example,” she says, “there is one case that is all my best-loved and most-personal books.” Which totally makes sense to me. I’ve often had my most beloved books on the shelf closest to my bed in my life. Or I’ll have a separate shelf for not-yet-read books. But the former are generally organized by genre and then by author’s last name, while the latter are organized either by order I should read, alphabetically, or if there are a lot of them, in a manner than will help keep the towers from toppling (largest on the bottom).
“I would let you alphabetize them,” she said. “I might even help. I just wouldn’t do it all myself.” This is a good thing, because I might have a nervous break-down if I had to continually see Dave Barry coming right after Diana Wynne Jones. My mind would not be able to handle it. In no world does that make sense unless you have very few books by other authors and that just happens to be where you break between fiction and non-fiction/humor.
#2 also has another odd need– she wants authors who coauthor books to have the coauthored book in between the other two authors. “Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett wrote a book together, so Good Omens is filed in between the two authors, who are next to each other. I believe that Patricia Wrede and Carolyn Stevermer belong together.” However, that problem is easily solved, “How about two copies of good omens, one housed with each author?” “That will work.”
Series order is also important– we are agreed that the Discworld books should be in publication order. After all, many of the characters show up in other folks’ series. Especially the Librarian.
Some more discussion decides that hardbacks and paperbacks should be put together in the same shelves. We are not facing space constraints in our fantasy library, and nothing has to be in a fancy display shelf. If you don’t think old paperbacks are beautiful, you don’t belong in our library, even if you might be invited to our living rooms.
Then we move on to the more difficult discussion of how to group fiction vs. non-fiction and different genres. I favor separation of fiction and non-fiction at the very least (though humor like Dave Barry could go in either or in a separate category), and have a slight favor towards subdividing fiction. She prefers putting everything together. She wants Malcolm Gladwell in with her fiction. I don’t. We throw the question to our partners. Mine wants everything to be completely subdivided by genre. Hers says that we should totally separate fiction from non-, and that his books have to go in, too, so, she reluctantly agrees, “I guess separation it is.” As a concession I allow her to include the graphic novels, manga, and comics with the fiction by author. She notes that we should put their gaming/RPG books in a separate section as well.
We agree on comfy brown leather chairs with ottomans. And a divan or two. And a window seat. Also, comfy couches, cushions and blankets for the windowseat, curtains, and a fireplace. Some super-fluffy rug so we can sprawl on our tummies on the floor in front of the fire. Lighting will somehow be perfect. And, of course a cat, though we’re not sure whether it should be our already existing felines or a new one specific to the library. Possibly a marmalade tabby. And some kitty-specific furniture that allows them to avoid other kitties.
X-rated stuff goes on high high shelves, or goes in individual bedrooms. #2 must have a lot of pr0n.
We decide on a separate area with low bookcases for books for 0-4 year olds, but chapter books will be shelved with the adult ones. I add some children’s puzzles and a little desk with little chairs. Like at the library. #2 adds a beanbag. And step-stools.
Finally, we make sure the wifi covers that room too so we can get to LibraryThing.
Now we just have to wait for someone’s unknown rich relative to die and leave us lots of money.
What does your fantasy library look like?