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by - Friday, January 20, 2017

Since the very start of the semester break (or even before that), I had the idea to declutter and filter through the book collection that I share with my family at home. It's not a chore I have to do, which believe me, isn't much. It's just something I voluntarily do in my free time at least once a year. 

Usually, if the books are a mess on the shelves and they've gotten mixed up with others of different genres or authors, it's enough to irritate me to drop whatever I'm doing and start on rearranging them properly. 

You could say I'm almost like a mini librarian in the house. I know where each book is and which shelf they were put in (unless they were removed or placed elsewhere where they shouldn't be). 

Right after my usual dance fitness session, I folded up sleeves, stared at the white shelves that reach the ceiling head on, climbed on the only chair in the room and started putting some books down from their shelves and onto the floor in a neat/organised pile.

Dessi, my cat, also thought her presence was enough to somehow help me. She made herself comfortable on one of the shelves of books and watched me as I laboured over the process. Wow, thanks.

It took well over an hour to have every taken down and another hour to wipe away dusts and old cobwebs.

There were several issues that occurred of course. Whenever Dessi came into the room to see what I was up to, she'd accidentally hit her tail against a pile of books and set off what seemed to be a continuous "bookquake" as one after the other, carefully stacked books tumble to the ground. By then, she already scooted to another room, scared out of her wits to escape from my scoldings.

The old-fashioned rug-and-water way.

I'm terrified of heights and I had to constantly hold on to something, just in case.

One hour later, it was sparkly clean!

If you thought that must have been tiring for me, then you're quite mistaken. The most crucial part, or more importantly, time-consuming phase of this "job" is planning out how and where to put each book. 

My strategy has always been the same. Thick and heavy books (Encyclopedia, dictionaries, reference books, childrens' books) should be placed on the bottom shelves. In my house, the lower shelves have more space compared to the smaller ones above them. In the middle, there are the children's books (short stories & novels), and above that are mostly my books that consist of rarely read books like classic literature and adult fiction (my dad's).

On the first day (which was last night), I could only deal with half the pile of books. It was late into the night, and I was tired and coughing from the dusts (despite wearing a mask). 

The next day, all the books not including the ones that I plan to donate to my school's library, were back on their cosy shelves. Looking at how everything is so neat and well put, it was definitely worth the pain.

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