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Book Integration (Alternate Title: Am I Insane?)


This past weekend I attempted to squeeze another book onto one of my many bookshelves, only to be dismayed over the fact that it didn’t fit. The problem isn’t that I have too many books. (There’s no such thing!) The problem is lack of space and my current organizational system.

Now, I know that probably sounds crazy. If it’s my organizational system, how can it be failing me? That’s a funny story…

Almost 4 months ago I moved in with my boyfriend. Immediately upon moving on we were faced with the hurdle of combining all of our shit together. Given the insane amount of kitchen stuff we both have and our lack of storage space, this was no easy feat. We managed and, for the most part, we found a place for everything…except the books. In order to make room for all of our books Boyfriend was sweet enough to build me some extra shelves that are built into the living room wall. (It looks awesome!) Between that and the smaller bookshelves I brought with me, I managed to get all of the books unpacked.

So, at the moment there is technically space for all the books that we own, BUT I am still not happy with the current situation. You see, I am incredibly particular about the way I organize things. Especially my precious books. I organize them by genre and then arrange them alphabetically by author. I have a section for general fiction, classics, mythology/fairy tales, YA literature, children’s/middle grade literature, non-fiction, and cookbooks. (Can you tell that my years working at the library rubbed off on me a little?) I don’t care if anyone else finds it weird; this has been my system for years and I love it. On the opposite spectrum is Boyfriend’s system (or lack thereof) of organizing things. His shelves were a complete mess when I moved in. Books were just crammed on the shelves wherever they fit. The fiction was mixed with the non-fiction. Nothing was alphabetized. There were children’s picture books mixed in with the adult books.*cringes* I’m still having nightmares about it.

Even though there is less chaos on the shelves now, our books are still separate. In case I haven’t already conveyed how weird I am, I will admit that I haven’t been able to bring myself to join all of our books together. I tried, I really did. Logically, it makes more sense to combine all of our fiction, non-fiction, classics etc. together in their respective sections. But I can’t! I just can’t! For some reason I’ve always had a hard time integrating my books with someone else’s. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s like having someone else’s books on the same shelf as mine somehow contaminates them. Or maybe it’s because they won’t feel like my books anymore? Like I’m giving up ownership of them, or something? I’ve been learning to make sacrifices in the time that I’ve moved in. I am coming to accept the fact that none of my stuff will ever be perfectly matched or “pretty” again. *sigh* I’ve mostly adapted to the fact the house will never look the way want it to. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my boyfriend’s standards of cleanliness are way lower than mine. But the book thing? No. It’s too big of a commitment!

All of this brings me back around to the beginning of this post. I have some new books I need to squeeze on the shelf somewhere, but there isn’t enough room. This means I have two potential options: a) Moving the books around again to try to find a better location for each section, or b) Integrate the books. The latter is the easier, more logical option. I know it is, but for some reason it’s stressing me out. :-\

Am I being ridiculous? Does anyone else have any weird hangups about integrating their books with their significant other’s?


One thought on “Book Integration (Alternate Title: Am I Insane?)

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