: views from the Hill

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Boxloads of books

I'm tired.

There are boxloads of books to go through.


So, what's taking so long, Sal?

Let's recap.

We moved ~ 800 boxes of books up here. I have no clue how many are left to sort through. We moved a bunch of shelves as well, but most of those shelves are full so the sorting is taking a long while, while I move boxes from this end of the space to that.

The cookbooks are out of boxes (for the most part) and against the wall in the eastmost room. The travel books (pure travel and travelogue) are in two banks of bookcases perpendicular to the cookbook bank.

The SFF books take up three banks of book shelves to the west of the two banks of travel books (and, yes, perpendicular to the cookbook bank).

There are no more shelves in this room, which is the room where I've been sorting books out of boxes and into other boxes since last week or so when I finished sorting the SFF books. (The SFF books wound up with four boxes of books with no space on the shelves and another five boxes of SFF short stories that didn't fit on the shelves.)

The hall between the eastmost room and the westmost room has stacks of book boxes, mostly boxes marked HIST or PHYSICS or SCI plus boxes with several Harvard Classics sets. Oh, and my SUNSET Magazine going back to forever, and a box of Christmas craft/recipe magazines and books, and ...

I have all the crime fiction (six+ bookcases) on shelves in the westmost room along with a couple shelves of writing books. That room also has a bunch of art (pictures, posters, paintings) and music (78s, LPs, tape, CDs and the occasional 45RPM) that need sorting through eventually (not now) and another twenty-five boxes or so of a motley collection of books, which will be sorted in the current go through.

The alcove outside the westmost room has the SUNSET magazines mentioned up there plus a bookcase full of assorted Tightwad Gazettes and how-to-make-it and FIX YOUR PLUMBING sorts of books that need sorting. Oh, and there's probably 25 boxes labeled HIST and S/W DEV and TECH and what-not.

The hall leading out from the alcove outside the westmost room to the door on that level has a few bookshelves that I may use for sorting the books in that area. Mostly the area has boxes of adult fiction books and (currently) seventeen+ boxes of books destined for the library and nine boxes of SFF books waiting for the older younger one to poke through plus some NF and some MISCNF and ... oh, it goes on and on.

My pal came through today to pick up some cookbooks I'd offered. She took a few. Offered me some of hers that she was getting rid of.

The books she didn't take were reboxed for the library.

I found a box or two of duplicates and things I didn't want/need today. I brought home a list of titles to check in alibris.com and abebooks.com to make sure I don't accidentally give away a first edition of Sue Grafton's KEZIAH DANE.

What did I find? Well, here are some examples.

I found TWO sets of the 2vol. THE PIMA BAJO OF CENTRAL SONORA, MEXICO. by Pennington. 1980. Univ of Utah

I found a selection of slim pamphlets with dust covers by David Starr Jordan and printed roundabouts 1912 by Whitaker & Ray-Wiggin in San Francisco. Titles:

Google /"David Starr Jordan"/ if you don't know who he is.

I found a slim, HB, blue jacket with gilt SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN REFERENCE BOOK. 1891. Munn & Co, Office of the Scientific American.

I found MASTERING MAGIC CARDS by George H. Baxter and Larry W. Smith. Wordware Publ. 1995.

And I found everything in between and to both sides.

My method is thus: rather than go through just once and decide toss/save, I'm going through once, sorting out the dups and things I know I really have no need of and repacking the boxes, relabeling, if necessary. (Thanks be for masking tape. Rip off the old, on with the new.)

I relabel boxes which had been NF or MISC or VERY MISC as FIC REF FACT phil/psych/soc HIST SCI or whatever and sort the books into them with a gross sort of sort.

The next pass will be another pass for duplicates and "do I want to keep this?" and an opportunity to sort the general (SCI, f'rex) boxes into a finer sort so that I can wrap my head around what I have instead of just thinking, I think I saw that title or one like that about five boxes ago. I'll have a chance to pull everything out of the FUN & GAMES boxes, f'rex, and see just how many copies of 150 WAYS TO PLAY SOLITAIRE I have. (I found three today.)

Then there'll be a third level sort ... then ...

Come 2009, I may have things under control.

Update: The library all the boxes of books are intended for is the Coast Community Library in Point Arena, which serves the northern Mendocino coast communities.

An old friend is heavily involved with book hugger issues up there and showed us around the library when we were up visiting him in Gualala last May. What a neat library. Great community support. What a story that library and its Friends group have.

When the library was moving from their dinky digs into the old Mercantile building (which the Friends raised money to buy and restore), over a hundred locals lined up along Highway One through town for a "book worm" bucket brigade and moved the books across Highway One and down the road a piece to the new digs, hand to hand until the books were all moved and settled on their shelves in the restored building.

How many places have that kind of community support for the library?

We told Don that he can come down here to get books and if they all don't fit in his van (and they won't, it's now apparent), we'll take books up and the library can take what they want of the books and sell the rest to make money for the library. That offer to Don last May is what precipitated all this sorting activity. That and the fact that books in boxes do you no good when you're looking for your copy of Watts' THE WAY OF ZEN and all you know is that it's here somewhere in one of these boxes ...

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