i can’t believe i’m posting about this.


i put a set of photos up on flickr last week of my new apartment. a couple of the pictures are of the bookcase in the spare room… there have been any number of questions and comments from people about how i order the books. i thought i’d respond here…

  • yes, i did realise the books were ordered by colour. it was intentional.
  • no, i don’t have any trouble finding books. i just kind of know where they are. i know some people are freaked because they’re not alphabetised, but i’ve never quite understood alphabetical ordering – i could never work out whether you should order them by author or title… I know some people are freaked because they’re not grouped by subject, but i like random connections more than organised ones. But really, when it comes down to it, it just wouldn’t look pretty. it’s a personality type thing.
  • i do have to rework it every time i get a new book… but i like that. it would be terrible if it were finished [finished things give me no joy]. i’m happy with this at the moment (the bottom row is missing in the picture – it moves from dark grey back to white), but i’m still deciding whether the transition between green and blue should be made with pale or dark books. i’m missing one shade of green to make the pale transition work – it would look better, but it seems a bit inane to go buy a book just for the colour of its spine… or, more to the point, it would look odd to take the paint matching chart into a bookshop. i’ve just given away too much about myself, haven’t i… in my old apartment i tweaked the books continuously for the whole time i lived there. in the house before that one, when i shared with sue, she just shook every time i mentioned the idea of ordering the books by colour. it’s a personality type thing.

This collection is predominantly fiction – due to a lack of space i’ve got all the others at the office. There’s no order to them at all. i changed workspaces at the end of last year and haven’t had time since to do anything but get books out of boxes and onto the shelves. but i quite like that they’re randomly ordered, kind of like the shuffle setting on the ipod… Carter Heyward is sitting next to John Caputo who’s next to William Dalrymple who’s alongside Marion Maddox… Sounds like a great dinner party, actually… maybe that’s one possible response to Sarah’s tag

[Marion’s actually an old friend and dinner party companion from adelaide days… we had many very good nights… I once did a major assignment, while studying theology, on the ethics of killing cane toads. Marion cooked a celebration dinner at the end of it… the menu included toad in the hole and frog in the pond…]

Enough. Back to work.


  1. It’s SO great to see someone else who colour sorts their books! I get SO MUCH crap for doing it… now if only I had that many books… 🙂

  2. Kel

    I’m green with envy about your awesome book collection
    Mine are all stored away in boxes, with a few favourites out in our temporary accommodation
    the colour filing system is so cool – you must have been a designer in a previous life!

  3. Cheryl

    This is the first place i’ve lived where i can have all my books out… it’s wonderful. i go in each night when i get home and gaze at them in delight.

    russ – i always knew you were a man of taste.

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