Book Orgies

“Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.” –Virginia Woolf

Jack and I have different ideas of what our bookshop should look like. Left to my own devices, I would alphabetize the spice rack in three subcategories: Asian, Italian, and Other, while he would put all the paperwork in the house in one room and call it “the office.” (Come to think of it…)

However, we do agree on a few basic principles:

  • the books should be on shelves
  • there is some vague sense of separating fiction from non-fiction
  • the shop bathroom should be free of personal laundry

Beyond that, we have to negotiate.

Lately, though, the books seem to be fighting our best efforts, bent instead on mayhem and madness. Perhaps it’s the holiday spirit; they could just be gearing up for their office party (after all, tonight is St. Andrew’s Night). Still, every time we turn our back, the neat rows of Science Fiction and Fantasy leap from their shelves, race across the room, and jump into Christian fiction before we know what’s happening. We hear the flap of pages, and when we turn around, there’s a little pocket-sized Amish romance lying inside the covers of a Stephen King hardback. Looking smug.

That ain’t right, I tell ya.

Last night I went to bed secure in the knowledge that Mysteries and Thrillers had been tidied to perfection; this morning, there were three vampire paranormals lying in the floor, entwined with a John Sandford.

“Have you no shame?” I asked them, picking them up by their corners with a good hard shake. “Look at yourselves, pages splayed in lewd display, your covers bent backward. Where is your pride, your sense of decency?”

I’m pretty sure one of the paranormals belched.

So there it is: every day I go through the stacks, straightening, shelving, putting O’Brien back in front of Roberts, forcing Jack to separate Historic Fiction from Cookbooks, and at night when we head upstairs, we hear the noisemakers, the champagne corks, the swing of the chandelier as the Norton Literature volumes do somersaults into the punch bowl. {Sigh} Books today. What can you do?

Don’t forget today is the last day for the November Caption Contest. Scroll back to the photo in the blog and leave your caption under Comments.


Filed under Big Stone Gap, book repair, folklore and ethnography, humor, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA

6 responses to “Book Orgies

  1. dianesloftis

    Books Just Wanna Have Fun or Rock N Roll All Night and Party Every Day! 😉

  2. Sounds like non-fiction to me!

  3. Zooperson

    My books (though not as plentiful) have the same insane habits. Turn your head one moment, and complete chaos. I think the cats out them up to it.

  4. Janice Brooks-Headrick

    Its my annual filing fling. My personal library is chaotic. Right now, I’m again starting to sell on line. So, do I put on the rare, expensive books first, or do those with ISBN’s, which are easier to upload? Do I put all the sets, from Nora Roberts to Sherlock Holmes, on one shelf? With all the paranormal moved from the top shelf, will Maya the Black Cat, find a new place to hide? How soon can I get all this done? Well, never, if I keep buying them.

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