Living with Books

I once heard an interior designer say that she often told her clients to group their books by color before shelving them. I imagined it. And even though I liked what I saw, I knew it wouldn’t work for me, because when I want a particular book, I want it instantly. Even though I own many books and have books in every room in my house, I still know where I can find what I’m looking for quickly. My first floor bookshelves hold books that I refer to on a regular basis; my end tables are piled with books I’m reading or am about to read. Library books have their own space. The table by my bedroom has “quiet” books—in tone or subject matter—that I like to read before turning off the lights. Upstairs I keep books that I’ve read and expect to reread along with a growing pile to donate. And depending on the amount of books in a given area, I may sort them by genre or topic. It works for me. But I can’t help thinking what it would be like if we shelved our books in the library by color. No doubt, we’d all become browsers.



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