After spending the better part of five days inside, I started going a little crazy, yesterday. I decided that it was time to start a project that I have been thinking about for a very long time. That project is to arrange all of our books in Library of Congress Call Number Order. This project has been very daunting to begin, because I don’t even know how many books I have, but it is well in the thousands. For a long time, my books were in alphabetical order. Then, I divided them into fiction/non-fiction and tried to keep them in alphabetical order by author. After too many moves, that system fell apart. What I decided I really needed to do was put them in call number order and yes, put their call number on the spine. I really have become that much of a library nerd.
This may sound like an entirely tedious project. But it actually became very fun. When I went to the Adams’ Stone Library at Peacefield, I loved hearing the stories about how they were still finding notes that the Adams family had written and stuck in the thousands and thousands of volumes. I love that, because I do that too. Revisiting all of my books this way has reminded me of some great thoughts and great moments.
I also got to reread inscriptions in books given to me as gifts. Out of Africa was given to me by my dear friend Suzanne as a Christmas present our freshman year of college:
For better or worse, the books in my life have defined my life. This project gives me a chance to revisit them all, like old friends.