How not to pack up your books

I’ve always been a hoarder of books. I love holding them in my hands, I love the smell of the pages, I love the sight of a well-organised bookshelf (well, I am Virgo rising!).

Packing up the house I’ve lived in for most of my adult life, I knew a good chunk of my packing time was going to be spent filling boxes with books. I had this crazy idea that I could cull as I went – hello stack of less of than 10 books, it’s new owners for you! *feels proud*

What I didn’t count on was how long it would take me to pack them up…

The thing is, books are like old friends – you can’t ‘visit’ them and not stay for a chat, right? First mistake! I found myself opening random pages, just for a look, and the memories would come flooding back – the adventures we had together, the heartaches, the laughs.

Having a friend over to keep me entertained while packing seemed like a good idea, until I found myself opening pages and reading bits aloud to them. “Oh, you’ve got to hear this…”, “This book is so good, listen to this…” Hello, mistake number two.

Packing my books up did get me thinking about how I organise my books. The last time I re-organised my bookshelves, I arranged them by colour (see the photo for pre-packing prettiness). I admit I did this to make the room look good, but it actually made them easier to find because I realised I remember books by colour. Much better than my old system, where I sorted by genre divided into my own groupings that wouldn’t make much sense to others. (And by ‘others’, I also occasionally mean ‘me’.)

Of course now, they’re in boxes and I have no idea where to find anything. And while I’m not sure what my new home will look like, I know it will have room for lots of bookshelves, and when they’re full, my new place will feel like home.

Originally posted on my creative writing blog at

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