Alexander Chee has a delightful essay in the Morning News about the way we view our personal libraries and what happens to our books when we attempt to combine our bookshelves with our partners:
One of the funniest and most interesting questions you can ask a group of couples at a party is whether or not they have combined their bookshelves.
I discovered this once I began asking it, looking for advice from others who might have done this. Most often, thus far, in my highly selective, completely unscientific research, the answer is no. Reasons get thrown around, and one is common. “I told her,” a friend said, who had just completed this process, “‘That stack of doubles by the entrance, that you will not get rid of, that is your doubt about our long-term future.’” He laughed as he said this.
Doubles, inside this world of library marriages…
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