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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Which Came First...The Personal Library or the MLS?

Moving in. While I hate looking at all these boxes and wondering where the heck I'm going to put everything (apparently the loss of 200 square feet of space is more significant than I thought), I do love the fact that when you are initially unpacking, everything has its place. I am a bit of a scattered person, and I inevitably start building up piles, but I do like that initial honeymoon of the move-in period.


Most particularly, I love unboxing and shelving my books. My personal library is much smaller than it was a few years ago - carting eight to ten thousand books every 18 months moving crosscountry got old after the fourth move. I sadly (okay, I was *devastated*) weeded my own collection. Now I try to take advantage of used bookstores that buy back books, or give you credit toward merchandise. This allows me to go off on my various obsessions and change my collection around, and the books I keep are those I am very attached to.


I am usually guilty of claiming that I am "Low-maintenance" - and I am. I am, in fact, writing this post sans pants, eating strawberries for dinner, surrounded by books that don't yet have a shelf and boxes of stuff that won't fit in my kitchen. (Why do I have three crockpots??). Tomorrow night will look much the same, except my best friend and her husband will be here (which likely means I will have on pants, too.) My high maintenance moments usually stem from my books. I know who has borrowed which and when I told the folks I expected them back. I know my own shelving system backwards and forwards, and often surprise my mother by asking her to wander the apartment, name a single title, and having me point it out. (I win every time.) None of this is due to my being a librarian - in fact, all of this led to my closest friends telling me to *become* a librarian so that I'd have an excuse for my wacky book behavior.


I just finished shelving my poetry collection. My poetry has a "theory of/treatises & essays on/" shelf, then is shelved alphabetically by author (and then year, as I have multiple books by the same author). Anthologies are shelved by topic (American poetry, international anthologies, spiritual poetry, love poetry, women poets, Irish poetry, etc) and editor's last name when there are multiples in a category. My fiction is pretty haphazard, just shelved by topic and not author (loose topics like "trashy romance", "chick lit", "highbrow fiction", "childhood favorites", "classics", "religion" and so on. My nonfiction is mostly political science and economics stuff, and that's shelved by topic, and within that, by historical timeline. My cookbooks are shelved by cuisine/region - right now the cookbooks are all in the bookcase, but not in organized fashion. They're next.


Yes, I know I haven't even started unpacking the stuff for my desk yet. but that's not nearly as much fun.


Work starts Monday. My brain, however, is still mired in bubble wrap, so expect to hear more about workstuff next week...

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