Well, the new wood floor was installed in my library and it is gorgeous. Several things I noticed, however: my desk chair rolls so much better even with a new protector on the floor, dust bunnies seem to be attracted to this room from all over the house, and the dogs can’t get enough purchase on the floor to jump into the chair by the window where they like to sit and watch the world go by. But my bookshelves are still relatively naked and I have about three dozen boxes of books and tchochkies in the next room waiting for me to bring them back into the library and empty their contents into the bare bookshelves.
I started slowly restoring the books and, rather than worrying about whether I duplicated the scheme that was so familiar to me in the past, I decided to undertake an entirely different arrangement. My first idea was to abandon the placement of used mass-market paperbacks in the back rows and instead to bring them all together in a single cabinet with three shelves. I moved all the black Penguin editions into the bedroom where I had a large open shelf in the black armoire. I actually considered whether I might not have enough books to fill the shelves but I quickly came to my senses.
One thing that is causing me to pause is how well I have taken to the iPad for reading books. While I was filing all those classic Penguin editions I realized that so many of them, notwithstanding the translations, were readily available in a format for my iPad. Think of all the shelf-space I would free-up if I were to replace those books with digital editions. Think of all the money I spent on those books through the years. Think of how many times I packed them into boxes, moved across town or across the country, stacked them into new shelves, only to move again after a few years. Maybe the best answer is to just read the damn books!
However, the Book Exchange would probably love the addition of a neat pile of Penguin Classics. I’ll have to think on that one: it’s different giving away the books before I have read them even though I make a habit of giving away the books after I have read them. I would give them the unread Signet editions from the ’60s but even they won’t take books that old.