lucy mangan on reorganising her books with her husband:
We work for a while in silence. Eventually the room is mazed with books. "It looks like postwar Europe," he says as we unpack the final box. "Borders mean nothing any more, and everyone is looking to a higher authority to help them out. So… what kind of system are you planning on? Simple alphabetical order? Chronological within alphabetical? Maybe a moderated form of Dewey Decimal? I do most of mine by publisher, but then the colophon was my only childhood friend."
"None of the above," I say. "It goes 'Fiction', 'Non-fiction'. Read and unread within each of those. Within each 'unread' there will be 'Really want to read', 'Quite want to read', 'Not quite sure why I bought this' and 'Accidentally bought this twice – this is the spare.' Then a shelf for 'Lovely books' – that's my Folio Societies and my Persephones and occasional other volumes whose beauty trumps their read/unread status. And here, maybe on a special shelf all of its own, I'm going to put Bridget. And call it social history. OK?"