In what passed for warmer weather last week, the front lawn trading post reopened and I scrounged various ex-Ikea items that might serve as upright shelf holders for my aged, sprung, bookcases. (Not the Ikea ones themselves, actually, which are still pretty sturdy 25 years later. The study ones, which I think are Semblit, that have expanded somehow so that the grommets that the shelves rest on are usually a silly millimetre too far away, no matter how one tightens things, and shelf then collapses. For longer than I can say, the shelves have been held up by the tallest books.) Alas, sturdy Ikea doesn't come apart that easily, and I was despondent. But on my morning walk today I found eight 15x13" shelves from I know not what, and ran back for the bike to carry them home.
Fifteen inches (38cm) was the height I needed for the tallest art books, so this was perfect: except the long edges are raw particleboard and the white finish is on the shorter ones. Also the present bookcase is only 11" deep, so there's a 2" stick out. Still good. The stick-out may shield the books from the dust and grime that pours in the windows. I have put everything in and rearranged all the books in a rational order- poetry and most-used dictionaries and reference on the top shelf of the left-hand (preferred) case where my Saiyukis used to live; the rest of the grammars on the second shelf beside the most useful art books; remaining useful art books and manga art books on the bottom. Second case has the occasionally consulted references, an incompletely filled middle shelf that so far holds all of Brust, and the least used art books on the bottom. The book case behind me now has all Minekura's works and magazines pertaining thereto on the top shelf, and useful Japanese literature by period on the next two; the rarely consulted stuff (histories, mostly) is in the corner case, on the lower shelves where the ironing board makes it hard to access them.
And of course I'm desolate. I am a cat. Now nothing is where I've been used to seeing it for at least the last ten years, if not longer. Including all those grammars that stood on the side table, back when I used to translate. I can see the dictionaries migrating back, at least, because now they seem a long way away.
(We won't mention the anxiety of what to do with the unneeded thumpers like the Columbia Encyclopedia from 1960, a Larousse from 1975, a deceased friend's thesis on Byron- and, well, stuff like that. I suppose there's always the recycle...)