The Folly of Alphabetizing...

I'll never understand folks who alphabetize their books. It's not that I don't appreciate the idea of imposing some order on the ever-encroaching floor-monster that is my library, but the method seems so very off. I acquire books at an enormously alarming rate. You think I'm joking, I'm not -- the government has retained a team of highly trained specialists to monitor, study, and reach conclusions based solely on my rate of literary acquisition. One of them had a nervous breakdown, the other two got divorces. It's really quite scary.

Because of my Amazon addiction and my dorm room's lack of bookshelves, my storage system is a bit off. My dorm overflows with tomes. I've taken over all the bookshelves in the main room, filled a closet, littered the floor, stacked my dresser, and generally replaced my roommates with paperbacks. The trunk of my car -- a hatchback, no less -- is layered three deep with books, a bit of unfinished business left over from when I moved out of Santa Cruz last June. My room at home also sports towering stacks of books, in addition to a few unpacked boxes where the lesser-known and seldomly viewed titles live.

The point is that I get a lot of new books. And I'm quite excited, when I have a non-dorm living space next year, to lovingly place each and every one onto the rows of bookshelves that'll turn my flat -- can I call it that if I'm not British? What if I was just watching Coupling? -- into some sort of urban, literate, labyrinth garden. And yes, I hope to have some sort of classification system. Maybe broad categories or something. But alphabetical? It'd never work. Assuming that every shelf save the last will be full of books, I'd never be able to buy anything that didn't begin with Z. Otherwise, I'd have to shift the last book in each shelf down to the next, all the way through to the end of my collection. To be clear, what happens if I buy an M? The M shelf is already full, so I have to move a book out of that shelf. But the next shelf is full too, so I have to place the just-moved book at the front (alphabetical order, after all), and then move that shelf's ending book down a level, and so on. It just wouldn't work, it can't.

Can it?