Preface

Bookshelves, a place of order and neatness. Paperbacks, hardbacks, big ones, small ones, fat ones, thin ones, a range of subject matter, a variety of colour, but all standing uniformly lined up in tidy rows. There may even be the odd space to place an ornament or perhaps a framed photograph, but the overall look is concise and pleasing. A tall bookcase can lend structure to the room and sets the tone for all to see; a beacon of clutter-free, no-nonsense orderliness.

Of course, our bookshelves rarely look like this. Some are better than others. Currently we have one that boasts: a barely living plant, DVD’s, some scraggy-looking soft-toys, makeup, two funky wigs, broken bits of driftwood, tiny painted canvases, sweets that could well be past their sell-by date, crazy headbands with light-up googly eyes and some curling strips of photo-booth pictures. Yes, there are also some books, but you’d be hard-pushed to see them, as they lie hidden beneath the jumbled piles of everything else. Categorically, there is no orderliness. This haunts me.