Bookshelf OCD

I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of books, both fiction and non-fiction. Plays, novels, cookbooks, history books, art books, classics, short stories, essays, poetry, sociology, gardening…you name it, I’ve got it! I love having so many books on so many subjects. It’s like having my own library, where there’s something for every mood, and many times I forget all about the things I have.

Here’s the thing: my bookshelves HAVE to be organized. When they’re not organized or there are books lying on their sides instead of standing up, it freaks me out. I hate it. I need to be able to find any book at any time without hesitation. I call it Bookshelf OCD. I also have the need to get rid of any books I’ve finished and don’t plan on reading ever again. If I forget to donate them, they irritate me to no end and it feels likeĀ the whole room is cluttered.

Do you feel the same way about books or anything else? Can you control it, or do you have a hard time concentrating if your books aren’t properly organized?

Tangents and Pedantic Tendencies in Classic Literature

I’ve noticed that in many pieces of classic literature, the authors tend to go off on long tangents and/or repeat thingsĀ far too often.

Moby Dick has entire chapters that go off on tangents, i.e. chapter 24, “The Advocate” (Ishmael makes his very long case for being a whale-hunter) and chapter 25, “Postscript” (Ishmael continues to make his case for being a whale-hunter). None of this really forwards the story, although it provides insight into his choice of profession, and it could be done in a much shorter amount of time. This is only one (short) example of a pedantic tangent. Chapter 9, “The Sermon”, is far worse.

Atlas Shrugged has long, repetitive speeches from characters which explain their philosophies three times over, just in case you didn’t get it in the first sentence…or paragraph…or chapter. It also has long, boring descriptions which tend to repeat what has already been said.

Dracula has too many repetitive mentions of people crossing themselves and bad omens, and I’ve only read up to page 20.

While I am massively in favor of descriptions which lend themselves to symbolism, in-depth analysis, and greater, deeper understanding of the work as a whole (or even the author), sometimes there’s simply too much unnecessary description.

Do you think that in most cases, the author is too caught up in trying to make the reader understand his/her point and drive it home? Or do you think this type of description is indeed necessary so that every type of person can grasp the author’s intentions?