Thursday, May 4, 2017

Alphabetcial Disorder

There's this notion out there that organizing things alphabetically somehow makes you efficient and conscientious. The arguments are easy to make. You always know where to find things because you know where they are. Nothing ever gets lost. You won't waste time searching shelves to find this book or that record, because you simply go to the letter in the alphabet where that item is supposed to be. And that all makes sense. It's hard to argue with the notion, but I'm going to.

My two library collections, books and music, are not organized alphabetically. Does this create search problems? Well, yes...sometimes. But not usually. The problem with alphabetical, especially when it comes to my own personal collections, is that I'm rarely looking for something specific. When I want to read a new book, or listen to an album, I don't typically have a title in mind. I rarely jump up thinking ooohhhh, I know what I want to hear! My brain doesn't work that way.

I think in moods and ideas and look for things that will conjure the images I seek. I'm looking for a vibe or a groove, not for a particular item. My collections are organized by genre and mood. When I'm feeling a certain way, I know which area in the collection to browse. And I enjoy browsing through those sections to find what I want. In that way, I'm often refreshed on what I actually have in the collection. It may not be efficient or conscientious, but it's inspirational and that's better in my opinion.

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