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Finally. A new project is underway here at the LW Private Library. I call it BIO—Books In Order. Start date: May 27, 2013. Estimated Finish Date: November 27, 2013. Six months. Goal set.

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I know, six months seems a ridiculously long time to reorganize a home library when that home is just a small apartment. But you haven’t seen my books. Or ALL of my books. Anyway, I can’t do it by myself, and this will be a busy season for my facilitator, LW,  who can do it. Maybe. But she’s kind of distracted these days, working on a shadow show project, going here and there. It’s always something. 

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The good news is that BIO has begun. Progress, good progress, has been made on the following sections: Memory, Perfume and Scents, Place and Space, Architecture, Cities and Urban Life, New York, Chicago, Miscellaneous Cities, Maps and Mapping, Psycho- and Humanist Geography, Museums and Collections, Science, Religion, Psychology, Philosophy, and Arts and Crafts. And yet much remains to be done. I’m giving her six months. Six months or she’ll never find a book in this house again.

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Years ago, my books were in pretty good order: History here, Hollywood there, Graphic Novels in the other room. Cookbooks in the Pots & Pans drawer. Horror and SciFi beneath the bed. But over the years the books overwhelmed the shelving arrangements and had to be put wherever they could fit. And now that I’ve taken it upon myself to be a kind of Boswell to my facilitator/collector, I need to be able to find the books I want to discuss. (See my May 7, 2013 post “Lost!”) And LW, in turn, would like to carve out some living space for herself and spruce the place up.

We libraries enjoy having our shelves cleared and cleaned and stacked anew. And nothing feels as good as having our books mulled over, dusted, and gleaned, with the possible exception of a good browsing, preferably to the sound of rain on the roof. Preferably a tin roof. The whole process makes us feel alive, enervated, and renewed.

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And it’s an interesting process, this sorting of the books. I enjoy reacquainting myself with books that, due to double-shelving or closet-dwelling, have been hidden away for years. It’s a kind of excavation, not just of books, but of a life, thereby echoing my purpose here: to explore the parallel tracks between one’s books and one’s life. 

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