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(A short story of 1427 words)

In Good Order


by Sarah Salway

A story for everyone who has wondered how to organise their book shelves...

I’m trying to be a writer so it is very important I keep my bookshelves in good order.

It has taken me a long time to find the best system, but now I arrange my books alphabetically, using the first letter of the author’s surname. This would work well if my wife didn’t keep picking books out to read and then putting them back at random. Elaine doesn’t seem to realize that finding a C in the P shelf can upset me for the rest of the day.

‘It’s easy,’ I tell her as I explain the system once more, sounding the letters out phonetically as you would to a child.

‘They’re all just stories at the end of the day,’ she says. ‘Why does it matter?’

‘It’s my Work.’ I wish I didn’t have to keep reminding her that writing isn’t some kind of hobby.

‘Oh, your work.’ To make a joke of it, she thrusts her chin in and out like a turkey gobbling. The skin on her neck creases and puckers as she moves. I don’t think she would do this if she knew how unattractive it made her look...

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