In Martha’s Home Housekeeping Book, in the chapter on how to properly keep the room in your home devoted to your library (ha) clean, she says that once a year you should take all the books down, and dust the spines and covers and the shelves. Well, what started out as a simple afternoon activity became a two day project when I realized that my main bookshelf was dangerously dry. I actually felt bad for the poor thing.

So, I took everything off the shelves, organizing the books into groups as I went, then took out all the removable shelves. Using Butcher’s Wax Boston Polish Amber Paste Wax – which I had to special order last year, because it’s the shit and I couldn’t find it in LA – I waxed and buffed the shelves and left them to dry for several hours. Then I alphabetized the books within their groups and re-shelved them. I also took the opportunity to carefully clean and organize random chazzerai and to winnow out some of the clutter.

It’s always a pleasure to go through my books, looking at childhood picture books or art books that I rarely take the time for. Today I came across something odd: a book that I loved as a kid, Charlie Brown’s Super Book of Questions and Answers.


That’s not odd in and of itself, but when I was alphabetizing I decided not to put it under Schulz, because he didn’t write it. Since it didn’t have an author listed, I flipped to find the editor’s name and found this:


Hedda Nussbaum! Bizarre and a little creepy.

Anyway, long story short (too late) it turned into a bigger project than I intended, but it was worth it.