All the hundreds of books around the house had been shelved according to no system, except maybe in the last year or so, when the system had been simply to place them in order of acquisition in the one available space – the bookshelf in the far right corner of the living room. No system and yet I knew to the last short story collection, the skinniest publisher’s samples, where each and every title rested. Over the years I’d thought about cataloguing them in some sort of order – not the Dewey system, but at least something expressing logic, such as collecting all the Australian fiction in one place, or all the green Virago reprints in another – something sensible and not too anal. But then when I found a little-read book or a title I hadn’t touched for many years, I always decided not. Why change something that suited me perfectly?
From The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide
I was particularly pleased to meet a fellow Virago collector in print!
My book shelves and boxes are pretty random, but I have a fair idea where most things are. Though I have to admit my books are tagged with their location on LibraryThing to make sure I can locate them.
What’s your system? How quickly can you find a particular book?