Our library with photos
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a very visually oriented person.
However, I know that lots of people (probably the majority) like to see pictures, in addition to just have me using words to describe something. ;)
I’ve mentioned our floor to ceiling library many times in the blog. Those of you who picture things when you read (I generally don’t…again, I know I’m in the small minority on that) have probably created all sorts of images.
I’m guessing most of them are much more grandiose than the reality. :)
I knew someone who had a really impressive library…more than one floor, with a spiral staircase and ladders on tracks.
Our is furnished with “as is” bookshelves from Ikea…some of them cost as little as $5!
We also use the room as a guest room sometimes. I would love, love, love to be at somebody’s house and stay in a library! Dream come true…
Anyway, here are some photos (taken today) of our library…
This first one is just a general shot of one of the sections:
That object you see in your bottom left corner? That’s the bed. It’s a small room, so that’s also where you can sit while you are reading, if you want. We went with a literary theme, and bought pillows and a comforter for it to match:
Here is more of a closeup of a small section:
One more shot of another section:
This is one wall, to give you the scope:
Finally, this an unusual item, and one of my favorite things I own. :) It’s a magazine rack. As I recall, I bought it from a place going out of business, but I know it was a small, local, sort of general store I patronized. I think the owner might have built it, and I believe I paid five dollars for it. Moving it through several homes over decades has probably been pretty silly, but I like it.
I asked my Significant Other before I shared these, and I tried not to do it where the room might look too messy (even though the books could be neater).
That’s why you aren’t seeing the shelf under the window. ;) That one has some non-book items on top of it. Well, I should say, “non-book related items”. As you can see, I do keep some small things on the shelves, usually related to the category. The Lost in Space robot is in front of my science fiction/fantasy section.
You might look at this and wonder how I can find anything.
First, I tend to just remember where things are. My SO likes to tell the story about when my SO asked me where the taxes from a certain year were. I said something like, “They are on the top shelf of the bookshelf under the window, third pile from the right, about two thirds of the way up, next to something yellow.” :)
Second, the shelves are separated by category, which narrows it down.
Third, some sections, like science fiction/fantasy are alphabetized: that one is alphabetical by author, and within that by title.
When I alphabetize titles, I follow Leonard Maltin and treat numbers as though they are spelled out. So, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” is in the “T”s, as though it was “Twenty Thousand Leagues”. That’s because sometimes it is spelled out, sometimes it isn’t. ;)
It’s also not quite as simple as that.
In some cases, I treat the series as if it is the author…Star Trek is one of those. The Doc Savage books have their own section in the library…they take up quite a bit of one of the bookshelves.
I also know some of you are cringing because I don’t have separate science fiction and fantasy sections. ;) I’ve mentioned how I treat that before.
For me, any fiction which is intended to take place outside of consensus reality is fantasy. Within that, there is Science Fiction (which is possible within the framework of consensus science but isn’t happening now…for example, travel to Mars via rocket) and Fantasy, which isn’t (traditional magic, for example). I’m sure that regular readers won’t be surprised that I don’t find those categories to be hard and fast, though. ;)
It often comes down to intent, including the intent of how the author wants it perceived. An author may want FTL (Faster Than Light) travel of a hardware spaceship through conventional space to be believed to be scientifically possible, or for telepathy to be scientifically based. We can’t really judge intent, though, so it seems somewhat subjective to me.
Therefore, I lump all fantasy together on the shelves.
Even defining fantasy can be tricky. I include works as fantasy if the audience perceives it as fantasy, even if it is later shown in the work to have been a trick. Again, that’s pretty fluid.
My main goal in putting them together is to make it easier to find something when I want it. That’s more important to me than being strictly correct…so free association counts. ;)
I do have some rare items, and as you can perhaps tell, I don’t have humidity controlled, behind glass kind of storage. Is that irresponsible? It doesn’t feel like it. I have been able to keep books in good shape…not pristine, mint condition, but I don’t have these books to resell them (then it would matter), but in some cases to preserve them, and I am doing that.
Will this room ever go away and everything be in digital?
I suppose it might…at this point, it makes me nauseous to consider it. ;) If the books I owned were already preserved in digital, I would then consider donating them to some place that would do actual preservation work. I would have to find somebody I thought would respect them…not just treat them as cultural artefacts. I might go so far as to say that I want someone who would love them.
I should also say, I’ve mentioned having ten thousand books on shelves in our house…they aren’t all in this room. Just about every room in the house has at least one bookshelf.
Well, now I’ve bared my shelves to you. :)
I think you can see why some of the titles might be controversial, but I decided I was more comfortable with you than with someone coming to inspect the house for some reason…
This is also a long way from having books piled on the floor, which I used to do. :)
How about you? If you have anything you want to share about how you have your p-books, feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
Update: thanks to a reader who improved this post with some copy-editing and chose to remain anonymous. :) That’s one thing I’m finding with this new computer. I have to hit the keys harder than I’ve been doing, so a letter got missed. I have to see if I can adjust the feel of the keys…might be able to do that. If not, I’ll have to learn to pound the keys like it was ragtime. ;)
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