My sister’s rather lukewarm reaction to my colour-coordinated bookshelf got me thinking the other day. What is so satisfying about colour-coordinating the shelf? I do like the way the yellow pops; it’s pleasing to look at. But it’s more than that.
It’s the act of arranging the books themselves that gives me satisfaction – a mundane mechanical activity. I wouldn’t derive the same satisfaction if I had to organize my books by genre or theme or anything else that would require more than a cursory glance. Is it about the books at all – or just the repetitive activity that somehow demands a break from my unending internal monologue?
I also love to kind of look at the books I have collected, every once in a while – flitting through pages… it’s like meeting old friends [probably derive more pleasure from the books than the old friends!] Books are memories in amber; reflections of past selves, and windows to old ideas and beliefs. An old photo album, but of your mind – I kind of feed on nostalgia. As far as the utility aspect of libraries or book collections goes, I prefer an organized chaos – I like to stumble upon new books that I didn’t know I needed, even if on my own shelf.
Which one do you prefer of the two of my shelves? The colour-coded one or the organized mess? I honestly can’t stop reveling in the sheer prettiness of the first, but I’ll probably read more from the second.
[Yes, that’s how I spell colour, sorry if it bothers you.]