This past week my god-daughter announced that she and her significant other were buying a house, and finally taking a piece of furniture we'd been holding for her. And all of a sudden I found myself asking, "Do you want any bookshelves?"
It wasn't planned. It wasn't that I'd even considered my current bookshelf situation until that moment. And it's not that we have any empty shelves.
But we do have an awfully lot of them.
How can any Sherlockian have too many bookshelves or too many books, which in turn, require bookshelves? What sort of mental malady could cause such a thing? Is another remote Sherlockian slowly working his way out of the ranks of the faithful?
I remember hearing a story from Peter Blau many years ago about a Sherlockian whose entire collection was contained on one, carefully-selected shelf. And while I don't see myself becoming that guy, there is a certain allure to the minimalist life of a Zen Sherlockian monk these days. I've moved boxes of books far too many times, and my back complains in advance at the thought of the eventual next move. (What, hire movers? To move my Sherlockian treasures? That is nuts!)
But as with any other household possession, there comes a time when you realize that some things have gone untouched for literally decades, and are probably never going to be touched again. At which point it's time to move them along to someone else's appreciative care. And the space! You can't get your time back. You usually can't get your money back. But space? You can always take back the space. The future of Sherlockiana doesn't depend upon my measely archives, but the future of this Sherlockian depends a little bit upon a certain amount of free space in the house.
So it is that I found myself deciding to reduce the number of bookshelves in our house this week, once again seeming the Sherlockian contrarian.