Once upon a time, I worked in a bookstore (it is telling that when I wrote that sentence my fingers automatically typed out "lived in a bookstore").  It was a wonderful job (if only I hadn't had to live off the wages) for a number of reasons.  The first, obviously, being that spending all day being surrounded by what you love, and getting to share that passion with other people, cannot help but be wonderful.  The less obvious reason is something we called "alpha-ing".

When you were sent to go "alpha" a section, you went and (you guessed it!) put it in alphabetical order.  Sometimes.  If you were in a simple section like fiction, anyway.  Oh did I say simple?  I  meant literary fiction, because genre could be a real bitch, with all those series...  Other sections got broken down by subject and then author, or sometimes just by title.  But regardless of whatever section you were in, there was a method to the madness, and it was your job to bring it back to that ordered chaos.

I loved it.  I loved it so much.  I would (and did, on occasion) happily spend an entire eight hours putting a section to rights.  It soothed a part of my soul that craves structure and sense.

Shelf of Dreams aka Poetry and Travel (the next shelf down has Religion and Philosophy)
Given my type-A personality, it's entirely possible that, even if I'd never worked in a book store, I still would have organized my books by subject and genre- but perhaps not quite so anal retentively as I am currently prone to.

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