Have you ever looked at your bookshelf and imagined the the authors who penned all those glorious texts actually sitting on your shelf? I have. The next obvious question, at least to me, is who are they sitting next to? What kind of conversations would they have? For instance, what would the black liberation theologian James Cone and the conservative Baptist theologian Millard Erickson say to one another? Or what might transpire between Rudoph Otto and James Packer? Schliermacher and Bertrand Russell?
I suppose potential fireworks of such conversations might be somewhat determined by how you arrange your bookshelves. For me, it is topic by author. So in many ways, by arranging them topically they are already in some measure of communication. Another variable might be how diverse (methods, positions, chronological etc) your library is. If I were to arrange the total library alphabetically, there could make some great conversations between theology and the arts. But then again, I am really into eavesdropping on the Cone/Erickson debates.