Rearranging the books, playlists

I can’t sort out my head properly, so I’m sorting my books. Plover the cat and I are drinking red wine and water, respectively, and pacing the apartment listening to Motown.

I’m rearranging my books.

I’ve you’ve read Nick Hornsby’s book High Fidelity or seen the movie, you might remember Rob rearranging his record collection. Today is sort of that, but without the breakup.

When I have something big on my mind, usually related to self-definition, I become more interested in music and stories.

The music I listen to becomes Important. The books on my shelves become Me. I download. I read. I sort. I fuss and swap and graze over my books, looking for the right system. And through this, somehow, I describe myself to myself. Whatever is going on in my head benefits from the organization I’m doing with my hands.

I externalize this stuff because it’s easier than neurosurgery and cheaper than therapy.

Behold my books. They are arranged by priority, then color.

5 Replies to “Rearranging the books, playlists”

  1. Thanks guys! I’m still working on the books. I experimented with making a virtual “fire” in my empty fireplace using the ones with red spines, but it isn’t working as well as I’d like. It’s still a work in progress. I’ll keep you posted. ;)

  2. i think motown is always somehow related to rethinking/reimagining the self.

    and after the lovely, noir photo of the amsterdam bookstore you posted, we’d love to see your newly arranged wall-o’-books!

  3. I love Rob in High Fidelity. Was a bit bummed that Slam wasn’t as great as High Fidelity. Like Rob, do you find it comforting that only you know the key to finding your books?

  4. “They are arranged by priority, then color.

    What are the criteria for priority? What makes one book a higher priority than another in Erica land?

  5. Nice. I found myself the other morning doing similar- the kids were not yet awake, I was working on the first cup of joe, so I went through my shelves, partly looking for old friends, partly (re)identifying which volumes came from my mother, which from my grandfather, which from school. Touchstones, each one.

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