Thursday, November 30, 2006


No, I haven’t been pulling dandelions. There’s way too much snow. All month, I’ve been sorting my office, trying to make it back into a good writing space instead of a storage catch-all. Part of that has meant sorting books and trying to get rid of some.

In cases where I’ve found doubles, this has been easier, though I admit to still having more than one copy of some of my faves. Why is this? Maybe so I can read with both hands, or in case I want to read in tandem with somebody, aloud? Probably all it means it that I'm some kind of survivalist packrat.

I’m anal enough that most of my books are alpha organized. The authors whose books I have the most of are Stephen King and Kurt Vonnegut. Atwood takes up a goodly space too, though her books are distributed over several areas: fiction, poetry, books about books – she even shows up in biography, as I have Rosemary Sullivan’s The Red Shoes. She really is a lot like that story by Mark Jarman, where Atwood is absolutely everywhere.

I’ve discovered that I have more books by people named Moore than with any other surname. There’s Christopher, John, Lisa, Maureen, Michael. Wright takes second place, with L.R. (Bunny), Richard B., Ronald, and Jane Barker.

Do other people have hotspots in their book collections? Inexplicable relationships blooming on the shelf? I love the fact that Eileen Kernaghan is nestled up to Jack Kerouac. She’s always struck me as some kind of secret beatnik.

Stuck beside him as she is, I wonder whether Audrey Thomas would have had terrible arguments with James Thurber. And there’s Grant Buday, leaning up against Jimmy Buffett. What kind of party might it turn into if both of them showed up?

Eden Robinson could come to the party too; she’d be leading Tom Robbins around. Ivan E. Coyote gets to bring Douglas Coupland. Brian Fawcett drives up with Will Ferguson beside him –how would you ever get a word in edgewise? Henry Rollins and Leon Rooke? Who knows, you might want to duck.

Maybe you don’t need to weed or dust to be reminded who’s residing on your shelves. If you spot any interesting combos on yours, let me know.


Janet said...

I have fantasies about tidying up my office. Haven't got to organizing my books yet - surely that would be nirvana. I live in hope!

Anonymous said...

I've seen that office...did you go in wearing a miner's hat and carrying the jaws of life? You are very brave, going in and giving those books a bit of breathing room.

Good luck!

hg said...

You're right, Cat. It was pretty scary. I thought about wearing the suit I'd worn to cut back the vines this past July, but figured that'd make it too hard to read titles. You'd probably still find the place chaotic, but truly, it's MUCH better!