Library Note:
Six Inches
26 September 2018

It’s uphill work, but I’m trying to convince myself that progress was made this afternoon, when I shelved some books for the first time since acquiring the new library cart. By “shelving,” I mean taking note of where books already are, and, if possible, making room for a few new ones. This is important work, if I’m to know what books are hidden behind the row that shows, without pulling them all out.

Last week, I pulled out most of the books on the top shelves of the history bookcase in search of something to read. (I’m going through a difficult patch.) It was only today that I got round to putting them back, and noting the locations in handy Evernote tables.

And only when I was done did I see that I had done the very same work a year and a half ago. I could have used the tables that I created at that time to tell me how to replace the books I’d pulled down, and got on with the real work, which is dealing with the big thick books on the lower shelves and making room for the tall stack of history books on the cart. By the time I was through with the top shelves, though — having organized them rather differently and, I like to think, better — I hadn’t the energy to forge on. 

There was some genuine evidence of progress: a six-inch pile of books to discard. But still.

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