Housekeeping

I’m currently on the second day of a week-long holiday from work – with pay, naturally – so I’m taking this opportunity to strike off a few long-overdue tasks from my ever-growing “to-do” list.

First order of business: tidy up the library.

I’ve been meaning to restore some semblance of order to my private lair on the third floor, but with something in the order of 2,000+ books (and a vast assortment of accumulated knick-knacks) to contend with, this task isn’t something I could attend to on a normal working day. Mopping and sweeping are best left to the housekeeper – I’m quite hopeless with a broom, at any rate – but the duty of classifying and shelving new acquisitions is entirely mine.

Trust me, it’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve long overshot the original capacity of the library’s built-in shelving, and while the addition of a few pre-fabbed bookcases has increased the available storage space, finding room for the 100 to 200 volumes I acquire each year poses something of a logistical challenge. Right now the shelves are so tightly packed (see picture below, showing part of the Ancient History section) –

– that the addition of a single volume, however slim, requires that all books coming after it be shifted to the right and sometimes off the shelf entirely. When the books I recently ordered from Amazon.com are assigned a place on the shelves reserved for works about ancient Rome, the entire row will have to move to the right and push aside the books on ancient Greece, some of which will have to be moved one shelf down to sit alongside the books on ancient Egypt, which will in turn bump against the books on Chinese history … you get the idea. I’m already facing a similar crisis on my manga shelves, where the small bit of room that still remains is expected to run out in a couple of months or so.

Given all the shifting and re-shelving that the insertion of even a single new book is bound to trigger, I normally deposit fresh acquisitions on any available space in the library (tables, chairs, etc.) with a view to putting them in their rightful places when time permits. That time has now come, so I’m busy sorting through the volumes stacked like so many paper bricks all over the room and putting them where they belong.

I also have a few other things planned for this week: extra Japanese studies (I’m planning to take the JLPT this year so I’ve got to cover a lot of material in just four months), working my way through the reading backlog that’s accumulated over the past year (about 200 or so unread books waiting in line), kicking back for some much needed rest (which generally involves waking up at 4:40 AM instead of at 3:40 AM) and so forth. I’m also throwing in a bit of extra time for anime and manga, of course.

And lest I give in to the temptation to slack off, I’ve set up a little device that’s designed to whip me back into action.

BIG BROTHER STEPHEN IS WATCHING YOU.

**********

P.S.: As soon as the dust settles, I’ll take pictures of my lair (focusing on the anime/manga bookcases, naturally) and publish them on this blog. It’s time for that old post to get an update.

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