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Friday, December 7, 2012

The way you arrange your books says something about you, doesn't it?

Of all our newspapers, only Mint Lounge has the gumption, as far as I know, to devote a whole issue to reading. And only Aakar Patel, one of our finest journalists and my favourite Mint Lounge columnist, has the cerebral wherewithal to write a delightful column on the topic of how to shelve your books.

"Classifying one’s books," Patel writes, "is not done to arrange them in some cosy intellectual order. The point is to be able to find a volume when it is required, and to know what books you have on a particular subject."

He continues:


I feel about this because I have spent considerable time developing a system which achieves these two ends.

And then Patel, who owns 5,000 books, proceeds to elaborate on his classification system:

By colour
By series
By publisher
By alphabet
By series
By language
By theme
By subject
By genre
By interest
By geography
By quirk

Read the column in its entirety here: "Bibliophilia needs smart shelving".

MY BELOVED BOOKS AND BOOKSHELVES STARRED IN A MAGAZINE ARTICLE IN 2011.

Bibliophiles will especially love, and identify with, what Patel writes in the penultimate paragraph:

Few things are as pleasurable to me as opening a package of new books in the mail. Living amid them is very heaven. Perhaps expensive paintings are also like that, but I doubt it. All of your other possessions, your cars and watches and homes, are about how the world sees you. Your books influence how you see the world.