Friday, June 15, 2012

Book storage

Whenever I work at the book store, invariably someone will come in to donate books.  Sometimes they will drive up in a car and unload several cartons of books, other times they will bring in a small box or bag.  I'm always intrigued by the ones who tell me that their "bookcase" is getting too full.

I can't relate to the singular form of the word "bookcase."   I remember the first time I babysat for someone who had no books in the house.  I can't relate to a home without books.  My mother still has on her book shelf books that I remember seeing on the bookshelf in our flat when I was growing up.   Some religious books, some on San Francisco, one on humor by What's My Line panelist Bennett Cerf.  Naturally, as is my wont, I took the comfort of the family book case to the extreme.

I decided to take a picture of our books, or as many of them as I could get a photo of, which weren't hidden behind boxes of other stuff on the floor.

Let's start with here in my office.  This is what I see when I look to my left.

P1230952.jpg (88779 bytes)

These would be the most recent purchases, the ones I am most likely to read if I were to just pick up a book.  Having run out of space on the shelves, and space on top of the books on the lower shelf to stack other books, I have started stacking them on the television (also, be aware that the lower two shelves here mostly have books double shelved, with taller, older books behind the newer and/or shorter ones.   There is also a bookcase to the right, which has books on two shelves beneath those old movie cannisters.

Behind my desk is this:

P1230953.jpg (148272 bytes)While this shelf is a mix of a lot of things, including several years' worth of subscriptions to a couple of photography magazines, and boxes of 3-1/2" floppy disks, mostly holding photos, this is also where I have most of my "Dummies" and "Idiots" guides to various computer programs.   There is also a shelf for books on animation that belonged to Gilbert and which I will probably never read (but then ost of the books shown on these pages are probably books that I will never read.

Moving into the kitchen wecome to Walt's mothers beautiful old wall unit:

P1230951.jpg (75330 bytes)

She used it for storing lovely pieces of art that she brought back from her travels. I use it for all my cookbooks, hiding behind those photos.  The lower shelf, which is cut off, is books I have printed from Flickr photos or from Blogger entries (as well as more cookbooks).
The cookbooks which won't fit on this shelf are stored here:

P1230954.jpg (81780 bytes)

...along with Bisquick, cereal, and the remote control to an electronic photo frame I am not currently using.

Moving upstairs to Walt's office, here are a few of the books stored there.  

P1230955.jpg (62321 bytes)

The teddy bear is lying on another bookcase which is also filled with books, but I couldn't get back far enough from that book case to photograph it.

In the big bedroom we have the big bookshelf

P1230958.jpg (92843 bytes)

Here, too, the books are shelved two-deep (at least).  Jeri once catalogued all of these books, a Herculean task! To the right of this bookcase is this one:

P1230957.jpg (78949 bytes)

(you can tell from the dust how long it's been since it was touched!).  There are a lot of college textbooks that Walt had and when I took this picture I saw "Cent et un Contes," a book of short stories in French I bought in high school, which I liberated from this bookcase to take down to Logos next week, since there is a section for books in foreign languages, and Lord knows I'm not going to be reading this again!

P1230959.jpg (112019 bytes)This bookcase is in the master bedroom.  Walt keeps a collection of Dick Frances books here, we have a Time-Life nature series and a bunch of other things.

I forgot to take a picture of the book case in the Pepto Room, where I have all the Show Biz books, stars' bios, and the Judy Garland collection, but I've posted a photo of that before.

I also left off the top of the staircase where there is an Encyclopedia Britannica, which Walt's mother bought when he and his siblings were young...and all of the updates from the original purchase until sometime in the 1980s, when we finally stopped paying for them.  Anybody use encyclopedias any more?

This is by no means a complete look at our books.   There are books in boxes, including at least one lost box which contains all of our kids' favorite books which I had saved for our grandkids, and a box of my favorite books as a kid which I had saved for our own kids.

And then that doesn't take into account the stacks of books placed randomly around the house, on table tops, kitchen counter, kitchen table, dining room table, on the floor, or whever is convenient to put a book when you need to put it down. There are usually even a couple of books in the bathroom, "just in case."

I was delighted yesterday to see that a new book on the Logos shelves was "An Exultation of Larks," that delightful old chestnut, first published in 1968 by James Lipton (now host of "Inside the Actors' Studio") which gives names to groups of things.  How else would we know about a murder of crows, an ostentation of peacocks or a nye of pheasants?  (I bought the book, of course--I know we have a copy around here somehwere that we acquired back in the 1960s or 70s, but this is the "ultimate edition," published in 1993, with more categories. like a foreclosure of bankers and a pigout of investment brokers.) There was no appropriate listing for a group of book cases, but perhaps "a library of book cases" works just fine.

Now that I have a Kindle, which holds so many books, I am starting a new "book case" stuffed with more books I have no time to read.  Sadly, I just heard about Pixel of Ink, which sends out an e-mail a day alerting subscribers to books which can be downloaded forfree.   You can check them out on Amazon and I find that I usually download 1-3 of those books daily.  They aren't by name authors and I haven't actually read one yet, but if a book sounds interesting, I'll download it because I can...and certainly at "free," the price is right!

And I am making good use of the free e-books on Amazon.  After I read "Balzac's Omelette" at Logos yesterday, I checked and discovered that all of Balzac's works are free on Amazon, so I downloaded a series of 3 books and will try those.

So, as you can see, I can't relate to "a" bookcase overflowing.  All of my bookcases are overflowing.  One of these days I'm going to start loading up books and hauling them to Logos, but we might have to get a bigger car first.


Harriet said...

Oh, Bev, I'm so jealous of all the space you have! Even after the books we lost in the flood and the boxes we brought to the thrift stores, our bookcases (plural) are still bulging. I still hate to give up what I have here.

Bev Sykes said...

Walt took my comment about Exaltation of Larks ("it's around here somewhere") as a challenge and said he found it under 30 seconds. So now we have matching copies, one upstairs, one downstairs.

Kwizgiver said...

I adore Barnes & Noble's Free Fridays. That's right in my price range.