Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Too many shelves?

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.


  1. There's a lot good to be said about not moving house if you can't DIY the move. Sherlockian identity isn't what you own, the number of books and paraphernalia are only the external signs.

  2. There was a time I NEVER got rid of anything Sherlockian. Divorce, moving, kids, moving, moving, did I mention moving. There came the time I decided a large book collection would change into a dvd & autograph collection, much easier to move (that was until I started framing everything). Kids have now grown and it became time to dissolve the collection, to support the kids in college, and to share the memories with other Sherlockians. I know exactly how you are feeling. However, the conundrum is that I still find myself purchasing new Sherlockian stuff all the time LOL!

  3. I have no idea what you could be talking about. ::stuffs errant skein of yarn out of sight::