Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Hobbit on the Shelf

OK, before I start I'll admit that this is really a) a post about nothing and, b) a very First World Problem.  Be prepared to snort in disgust and think "What is he complaining about?!".  But you should have realised before now that I prefer to blog about trivia rather than the real problems of the world!

This is why I frequent charity shops!
A lucky find last week of a couple of Christopher Tolkien's books in a charity shop caused something of a storage crisis.

First some context.  When My Wife and I moved in to live together we faced the problem of how to merge our books.  I'm led to believe that this isn't an uncommon stumbling-block - rather akin to the shock at finding one's wife squeezes the toothpaste tube from the middle(!)  or the fact that I eat my boiled egg from the wrong end.*  The problem was that I like to arrange fiction alphabetically and non-fiction by subject, whereas My Wife prefers the serendipity of the 'as found' approach.**  I won't bother going into the story of how we resolved this (partly because it's so trivial that I can't remember).  Enough to stay that we have a storage problem when it comes to books.  Shelves are double- or triple-staked and have volumes lying flat upon the tops of the standing ones.

*As we all know, literary wars have been fought over such things.
**Paradoxically, She trained as a librarian and I as an archivist. 

Occasionally, we try to rationalise things (and sometimes even get rid of books!), and the purchase of the volumes of 'The History of Middle Earth' prompted me to do so with the Tolkiens.  Since the last sort-out, some Tolkien and books about Tolkien have been downstairs on the fiction shelves (between Thynne and Tolstoy obviously) and others have been on my bedside pile (apparently bookshelves in the bedroom spoil 'sleep hygiene', so we compromise by having books piled around instead).


This was not satisfactory!  

Tolkien is now consolidated on has his own shelf (except for his writings on Middle English, which are wherever My Love keeps her books on Medieval Lit).

Not much room for expansion...

See?  I told you this was a blog post about nowt.

5 comments:

  1. A lucky find indeed Edwin - two titles I've yet to add to my own Tolkien collection, but continue to keep an eye open for in the charity shops.
    Congratulations on resolving the irksome problem, even though it is a compromise for the sake of matrimonial bliss - surely the writings on Middle English should be alongside the biographies and Great war titles! (on either shelf) ;-)

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    Replies
    1. I have a paperback version of Return of the Shadow which is now surplus - I'll be selling it through Diplomatist Books shortly.

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  2. We have similar book storage problems, and occaissionally resort to the radical step of downsizing! We also sometimes try yo arrange our books - fiction by author and genre, not alphabetically by name, non fiction by subject. More often we go with your stuff here my stuff here (mostly) and try to remember where your own stuff is.

    Good score on the volumes, good luck on book storage. We view our bookshelves as extra insulation.
    Cheers, Peter

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  3. Hardly a post about nothing at all! Quite the contrary! We get a glimpse into your marital negotiation and classification challenges. I thought it fascinating.

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  4. I have a special Tolkien shelf. It's an absolute must.

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