Thursday, 11 February 2016

Terry Pratchett and Marcel Proust - almost neighbours

This morning I emptied the bookshelves because we're redecorating. Here they are, stacked on my office floor like towers in a strange city, dark alleys weaving between them.

Moving books is a task I do alone because no one else in my family understands my absolute need for my books to be in strict alphabetical order.

You'll either understand this, or you won't.

If you don't, bear with me.

It means I can always find a book in minutes. It leads to happy and strange combinations of writers and titles side by side. And it represents my refusal to categorise my books beyond the fact that everything in the living room is prose fiction or drama - so I make happy discoveries every time I run my finger along the spines.

So Virginia Woolf and PG Wodehouse are chortling together on the bottom shelf.

Jane Austen is urging Paul Auster to lighten up a bit.

Leo Tolstoy's Anna and Colm Toibin's Eilis are having coffee, having met by accident on a street corner and recognised some glint of misery in each other's eyes.

Are you persuaded?

I don't care. I'm off to read a book off the floor.