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Bookcases - Michael M Jones

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February 21st, 2004


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04:16 am - Bookcases
For those who might somehow not know, I have an assload of books. This is a technical term vaguely related to a shitload. The ongoing project for the past few years with my father-in-law's help (and expertise) has been to build bookcases. Let's just say that we may never have enough. Though the latest installment has helped somewhat, expanding the amount of usable bookshelf space greatly. I now have an entire case dedicated to my ARCs (advance reading copies) and to be read&reviewed piles. This, mind you, is supposed to keep them from piling up too high. :>

The other big addition has been one bookcase solely devoted to my young adult collection. This, of course, being important since I review YA SF/fantasy professionally. However, this still leaves me with a quandry: Do I take up valuable space there with the Harry Potters, or stuff them in one of the miscellaneous shelves I have elsewhere? Ditto the Oz series. It's all the little details that drive me neurotic. I play favorites, see. L. Frank Baum gets slapped together, ditto Diana Wynne Jones (or does she? Right now, split between YA, trade paperbacks, and paperbacks) (that's right, due to limited space, I can and will sort books by size/type to make maximum use of shelf room....)

I'm just thinking out loud. I'm at my happiest when surrounded by books, and I like moving them around every so often anyway. :)

So how do YOU folks organize your libraries?
Current Mood: awakeawake

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:bgliterary
Date:February 21st, 2004 04:45 am (UTC)
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Whoa, I'm impressed you're even making the attempt. Before I was married, I was anal enough to alphabetize my books. Of course, that was also for the most part before I worked in publishing and started adding books at a record pace.

The only two distinct separations I have at the moment are picture books, which are on several shelves all their own, as well as four shelves full in my son's room, and my clients' books, which are also in their own bookcase in my "office" (which doubles as my bedroom...bleh, why am I not rich yet?).

Recently I told libba_bray that I want to consolidate all my children's books and YA, and put it in some kind of order so I can find things I need more easily, and she just laughed. She's right. Every bookshelf in our apartment is double stacked, and most have books piled on top as well.

I dream of a library, full of bookshelves floor to ceiling; a rolling ladder keeps everything reachable. Fabulous comfy chairs are strategically placed, along with perfect lighting; oh, and complete climate control, to hold off the aging process (for the books, of course...alas, it ain't that simple for the people). Someday, someday...
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:February 21st, 2004 09:47 am (UTC)

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In the words of the classics, "Bwah-ha-ha". :> My organization is pretty much: Signed books all go together. Anthologies and media-related (Star Trek, Star Wars, Buffy, etc) all go together. YA and those things that seem YA all go together. In an ideal world, the mass market paperbacks are alphabetized by author. Ditto trade paperbacks. With hardbacks, I'm just happy if they're in the same area and sorted by approximate size for ease of fitting in the shelf. :)

Once we get into non-fiction, I make a vain attempt to break it down into vague categories depending on how many books I have in a related field. :>

It's a nice fantasy. The reality, of course, is more along the lines of being able to find what I want without too much searching. Someday we'll put comfy chairs down here as well.
[User Picture]
From:bgliterary
Date:February 21st, 2004 12:30 pm (UTC)

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OK, see, if you'd told me you had nonfiction in Dewey decimel order, I'd have had to bow down before you. But now, I am just left to admire from afar. ;^)
[User Picture]
From:elena23
Date:February 21st, 2004 06:27 am (UTC)
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I don't know that I have as many books as you, but I have a lot. I have one bookshelf devoted entirely to the books that I gathered while in various college classes (not textbooks, only my college English classes). I organize these by category. Anthologies are at top, along with the Complete Works of Shakespeare, the huge Medieval Drama compilation, etc. Next are all of the books on criticism -- too numerous to mention all the types. Next I have all of my British Literature, followed by African Literature, Irish Literature, American Literature, and a small section of assorted "other" literature (Latin American, German, etc).

Another bookshelf I have is devoted to those books that are my "favorites." My selection of cheesy romance novels are there, next to a complete collection of Jane Austen. Anne of Green Gables, all of the Little Women Series, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Harry Potter, Neil Gaimon, Laurel K. Hamilton. These aren't really put together in any particular order, except that I generally organize the books on the shelves from largest to smallest, left to right. Hardbacks come first, then paperbacks. This bookshelf is basically the, "I want something comfortable to sink into the bathtub with," bookshelf.

Obviously, there are the appropriate gaming book shelves -- two, at the moment. My gaming book collection has thinned a bit, since I moved out of the old apartment (Jeremy uses and loves them so much more anyway), but it's still reasonably extensive. I order these by game and a little by genre. D&D, Star Wars, Dragonstar. I have every Changeling book except for the Kingdom of Willows which I know I had, but somehow turned up lost. I think I might have every Wraith book as well. Anyway, so that's those shelves.

The rest of my books I have yet to unpack. There will be an entire section of "old-ass" books. These are my collection. I wish I could say that they were really old and impressive, but most are from the mid to late 1800's. Still, I love them all. I have some Dickens, Byron, Keats, Longfellow, and a beautiful edition of Ann Radcliff's Mysteries of Udolpho from 1832. I also have a first edition of Tarzan and a first or early edition of Anne of Green Gables. Oddly enough I include in this section a rare Advanced Reading Copy of George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings, signed by an author, and with a dust jacket they didn't end up using, in this section. It's not old, but I like it and it's worth as much as many of the things there (except Tarzan and Radcliff).

I have a bunch of college textbooks too. I didn't keep all of them, only the ones that I liked. I have an entire section on Christianity from my old and new testament classes, ethics, philosophy (eastern and western), a couple of psychology textbooks, some german ones and who knows what else.

Hmmm...well, this is probably more than you really ever wanted to know about some strangers library collection, but it was a nice mental exercise for me too, so thank you!

[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:February 21st, 2004 09:51 am (UTC)

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I did the same with some of my stuff. A shelf for sociology, some shelves for theatre textbooks, and for plays, and some shelves for other related fields. :>

Oh, and the White Wolf books are a bookcase unto themselves. A large bookcase. Oy.
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From:karen_said
Date:February 21st, 2004 07:32 am (UTC)
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I could tell you the offical "librarian way" hon, but I don't like seeing you whimper. ;) Generally YA is a secondary catagorization... e.g. Harry Potter would first be considered Fantasy, then YA. You could approach it that way, however might I suggest that you solve your quandry by furthur catagorization instead: Current YA SciFi/Fan and Classic YA SciFi/Fan. I think Baum, Le Guin, et. al. (including Harry Potter, though the books are quite current - one of those rare "instant classics" and whatnot) and whomever YOU dub to give the distinction could easily be put on a "Classic YA SciFi/Fan" shelf or case for purposes of seperation if you have the space.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:February 21st, 2004 09:48 am (UTC)

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Thrrrrrrp. Official librarians would weep, I tell you, weep.
For my purposes, YA is a primary category. :> If I try to break things down too far, my head will explode. :>
[User Picture]
From:goweli
Date:February 21st, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC)
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I divide my collection into fiction and non-fiction. With in the non-fiction, I divide it into categories, science, history, folklore, with in those, I divide into categories, like history is chronologically, science, divided into oceanography, astronomy and the like, then alphabetically, folklore, divided into categories and alpha. Fiction is then divided into bookstore categories, mysteries, fantasy, literature, young adult, from there it's alphabetically ordered, and then in published order. Mixing hardbacks with paperbacks has never bothered me. as long as they're in author order. People who do their books by size order make me twitch. It makes no sense.
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From:djonn
Date:April 1st, 2004 04:55 pm (UTC)
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Good heavens. Are you sure we're not clones of each other?

I've got two bookcases of ARCs/proofs, not counting the assorted stacks/boxes of unbound xox-proofs that showed up all too frequently during the early stages of my Dragon-columnic career.

Two more bookcases for mass market fiction, partially double-shelved. One more for most of the tie-in fiction, which is predominantly Trek-related. That's the living room -- oh, wait, except for the smaller TBR bookshelf.

Three bookcases in the study/office for hardcover fiction, some of that double-shelved. One large bookcase and a smaller one for nonfiction, rather loosely organized. Just cleared off a smaller bookcase in here which now has a solid row of my autographed hardcovers and a few other first-edition items.

One smaller bookcase in the bedroom which has a bunch of old eclectic stuff -- paperback nonfiction, old college textbooks, like that.

No segregation of kidlit/YA, though I have a fair amount of it. For awhile I was segregating the F/SF from the mysteries in paperback, but merged them in the latest reshelving.
[User Picture]
From:oneminutemonkey
Date:April 1st, 2004 05:26 pm (UTC)
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I dunno. :)
I have the one bookcase that's split between to-be-read-and/or-reviewed and ARCs, one for signed books, one for YA/childrens (about to expand to a second). Two bookcases dedicated to anthologies, media fiction, and gaming fiction... If it's an antho, it goes over there. Star Wars and TSR are currently in temporary housing until I decide where to put 'em.

Paperbacks have an entire wall of bookcases. Hardbacks are the real losers right now... I'm way behind on shelving them. Thank god my father-in-law likes building bookcases!

Mind you, this is all in the basement. No, this IS the basement. Books migrate upwards as well, much less organized.


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