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+1 vote
Okay, so this is kind of a silly question. Last night, I pulled most of the anarchy books I own off the shelves to try and make some semblance of order to how they are stored. Now I've created a deep morass that I can't quite see my way out of. There is a 3' high pile of books by Kropotkin, and I am not even an anarcho-communist. Emma has a stack (so does Voltarine), but do they go on the shelf where non-anarchist feminist books live? I have a giant stack of green anarchist/anti-civ shit, but I am unsure I want to put it with the Derrick Jensen  (I know! I know!) books I own, or with the Earth First/eco-extremist shit. Where the fuck do I put the Bash Back anthology? Is it in the insurrecto-, the queer, or the nihilist stack.

Again, this is a silly question, but it is ripped straight from a real life dilemma that has taken over my living room.
by (22.1k points)
I tried to do this with zines/pamphlets. I ended up organizing them as






-Media and Communication




-Anarchists as Gendered and Sexual

-Prisons and the Captured

-Anarchists in Pairs

-Anarchists in Groups

-DIY Skills

-Anarchists and the Left


This was like herding cats and I couldn't be more enamored.
this is the sort of project I love. I am simply at a critical mass of books, and only realized how deep the hole I've dug myself in to was when I attempted to scramble out.
Yeah, I watched a Derrick Jensen video recently in which he pathologized cis-gender variants and expressed admiration for a cultivation practice in which only the seeds from a narrowly localized region would be saved and replanted. Previously, I'd only read Language Older than Worlds (a long time ago) and Reading, Writing, and Revolution (for a critique of quantified assessment in school);  I didn't feel any aversions to these texts. But as I dozing-off during the video, I was shocked awake by the turn the monologue was taking. I was creeped-out, and felt some Volkish vibes. Of course, I'd heard rumors about Jensen's reputation, but had never pursued my own analysis. Until this video.
Books make excellent insulation for any dwelling.

Based on what I know about DJ, I would doubt the Volkish thing, but he is unapologetically pro-TERF, promotes an authoritarian hierarchical organization, and has actively distanced himself from the period where he referred to himself as an anarchist. To be clear, I don't think people need to use that label to be worthwhile thinkers or humans, but DJ has managed to get a lot wrong. Plus he's just repetitive

Jensen basically wrote the same book seven or eight times. He has a question, so then he asks an expert, who tells him something. Then he talks to a woman, who confirms that all women know that thing, and then he talks to an indigenous person who lets him know that the thing has always been true. Along the way he shits outside, meditates on a leaf or something, and talks to some guy at the post office.  He falls into some essentialist nonsense at every turn which actually explains his so willingly allying with Lierre Keith. 

He was absolutely an influence on me, but honestly his best work is his interviews with other people. In particular in his early book Listening to the Land, and his interview with John Zerzan. I wouldn't recommend people unfamiliar with him read his books, but if someone told me they were reading Culture of Make Believe ‚ÄčI would encourage them to keep reading it and would also want to talk to them about why I am not down with the guy.

Put them in boxes by subject with the added bonus of using the box-o-books as an instant seat and table.
Better Homes & Gardens has many useful tips for arranging your books and bookshelf so it looks pleasing to your eyeballs.
This won't "help" exactly, but you should read it anyway: Benjamin's "Unpacking My Library"

1 Answer

0 votes
i think counter-alphabetically by author would be an excellent way to begin the first experiment
by (80 points)
if one must succumb to the gods of order, then i support doing it by name of author, since most good books/writers can't be categorized as only one concept (theory, history, etc).

but mostly, this is silly!
alpha by author was where I started. but the problem was that all the other books we have were sort of by subject, which made a weird anarchy ghetto in some wood crates by the dining room, and then situationists and anti-state commies being on a shelf with the Marx garbage two shelves under the feminist theory and next to any Chomsky books. Anthroplogy was the next shelf down, but did Clastres belong there, or does he go with JZ? This is some deeply complicated shit. Let's not even get started with Zinn...
This exercise could plot a very entertaining story about anarchist publications!
dot, this is absolutely silly, but it is also a very real problem. It seems inappropriate to post pictures of my living room on this site, but there is what one might call a situation.
all right, i'm laughing...

all the best anarchists always get ghettoized!