Saturday, October 23, 2010

conducting a book census

I made some progress in the apartment tonight, but of course in the middle of moving things around and trying to get pictures back on the walls, I decided it was a good idea to reorganize my books. Why? I don't know. It's just one of those things I do so I don't have to do other things. A few examples: when I wash the dishes, or knit, or clean out the fridge, or color-code my closet, or make soup, I'm doing these things because I'm supposed to be writing. Congrats. You broke the code. Now, whenever I mention any of these activities, you'll know that I've been shirking other duties (well, one main duty). Classic Christine avoidance behavior.

Looks like it's time to clean off the chair which has been
sitting in the middle of the living room for two weeks.

So, books.

Reorganization of my book situation requires dusting (because, as I've mentioned in previous blogs, the construction created a lot of dust. I mean a LOT. Likes chunks of it. {And really, I haven't worked on ridding myself of much of it because there was always more construction around the corner.}). So, I dusted. I won't disgust you with the details. I believe you can take the phrase dust chunks and do most of the imaginative work on your own.  

The plan was to make the living room a total book zone. All the books on the shelf in my bedroom would get shuffled to the living room shelf--all the dvds from the living room shelf were moved into the bedroom. Makes sense, right? Let's skip over all that.

The end result was this:

Perfect replacement for the chair in the middle of the living room floor.

Actually, that doesn't adequately depict the hillock of printed material I uprooted from my bedroom. The following pictures do.

You're looking at about 250 books here.

And one feline interloper, Matilda.
Shelving books, for me, is dangerous business. One of my decorating staples is to make a pile of books and put something on top (a little animal, a broken alarm clock, a tiny picture frame, an acorn, a rock). What would look nice next to this peace lily? Oh, I know! A stately tower of books, subject: seafarers. Stacks and stacks everywhere. To this, I finally said: No. Well, mostly No. Realistically, you're going to want a couple stacks of books here and there...for visual interest. Duh.
I've read 3 of these books.
Also, I love cephalopods. 

A little history: In what I'm guessing must have been 2002, Catherine and I made an Excel spreadsheet of all my books. I had a little red x next to every one that I'd read, two x's if I'd read it twice and so on. I think there were 600-700 books total. The bulk of them still reside at my mom's house. It's not like she'd be using those 2 rooms for anything anyway.

Yup, in addition to re-shelving and color-coding those floor books, I counted them. And not just the floor books--every book in the apartment. (Except for library books, of which there are three, and books that don't belong to me: four).

Total number of books: 787
Not including the:
Total number of journals: 46
Total number of kid's books: 31
Total number of cookbooks: 8
Dictionary: 1

Now, here's the total number of books (currently in the apartment with me) that I've actually read: 229. So, a little less than 30%. Sigh. Such a long way to go. But not on the organizing front! That has been successfully completed...except for thirty random books, which honestly, might end up in decorative stacks.

Well, that was fun--for me, I mean. It was, I'm sure, quite tedious for you.

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