Friday, April 18, 2008

Where is Edward Gorey?

I'm a fairly organized bibliophagist. Most of the books in my library are shelved by catagory. Biography is on the north wall. Literature is on the south wall. Science, philosophy and history are on the island of bookcases in the middle of the room as are the science-fiction and fantasy paperbacks. But where is Edward Gorey?

I would like to reread Amphigorey and Amphigorey Too. But where could I have shelved them?

Religion is on the west wall. Books about art and the practical arts are on the east wall. So are the books about holidays, education, etiquette, and media -- as are my collections of humor, Victoriana, and the life and works of Dr. Samuel Johnson. That's also where you'll find a shelf of Very Tall Books such as The Lorsch Gospels and The Times Atlas of the World. But where is Edward Gorey?

I know where he used to be in my old house -- upstairs on the narrow metal bookcase with other tall, illustrated books. But all the rickety metal bookcases were left behind when I moved. Where is poor Edward Gorey now?

Foreign language, the English language, reference books and books about literature are in the living room. But not Edward Gorey. He's not on the Tolkien & Lewis shelf. He's not among the housekeeping books. He's not in the kitchen with the cookbooks. And he's certainly not on the low birch bookcase in the dining room where I keep tiny books like the Loeb Library and the Oxford World Classics.

He's not upstairs with my Catholic fiction and my Victorian kid lit. He's not down in the Library Annex where I keep the children's books, the quilting books, the encyclopediae, the hardcover science fiction and the overflow hardcover science. And he's not on the hand finished alder bookcase which houses the tall, pretty books (mostly art and astronomy) along with my husband's collection of books about Oxford and the works of Patrick O'Brien.

Where, oh where is Edward Gorey?

I feel like a frustrated dragon searching through my hoard for a misplaced bit of treasure.

Well, it must be somewhere. In the meantime, I will have to settle for this charming take-off: The Trouble With Tribbles as if written by Edward Gorey.


EegahInc said...

I usually find him in the "I meant to put it back where it belongs but haven't gotten around to it yet" stack in the corner of my daughter's room.

Enbrethiliel said...


Oh, to have a book collection so big that I talk about organisation in terms of compass directions! If that ever happens, I might even get a little full of myself and talk about "wings" instead of "walls."

Good luck finding the book! Maybe someone in the family took it, loved it, and just forgot to put it back? Perhaps you need a card catalog and a borrowers' record! =P

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

It is nice to have most of your books in one room -- and very practical in earthquake country. You do not want tall bookcases in your bedroom!

In our old house we had a huge bonus room as the designated library. In our current house, which is much smaller, the library overflows into a second downstairs room which I've dubbed The Annex, and as I mentioned in my post, there are also bookshelves scattered in some of the living areas. But I've made sure that they're all firmly bolted to the walls.

Bob the Ape said...

Thanks for the link - that is parodic brilliance!

Allen's Brain said...

A letter arrived three days later, postage due. Addressed to the countess, it read, "I will return your books when you pay the ransom. Ha!" The fact that it was unsigned left the entire household bewildered--except for the countess, who only smiled enigmatically.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

Fly at once. The truth about your trouser-strretchers is known. --A Friend.

Allen's Brain said...

He pants broadly at the thought of being discovered.