Monday, May 12, 2008

Library Thing

If you have ever been to our house, you know that we have a LOT of books. I thought I had a lot, but then I met Doug! When we first got married, we lived in a small apartment with a huge pantry. I used half of the pantry for food storage and the other half for book storage!

Over the years Doug has accumulated even more books. By the time we left Annapolis to move here, we had 8 1/2 bookcases double-booked with books, and books on top of the double books, and books stacked all over the study. It was a huge mess, and we couldn't find anything. But we didn't have any space to really organize anything.

Then we moved to our lovely home. One of the big selling points (besides the kitchen and master bath), was the basement. Finished basements are rare here in NC, so we were thrilled that we had a partially finished basement plus a huge unfinished area for storage.

One of the first things we did was go to Target and get six more bookcases. I thought we needed about ten, but I thought I'd start small.

What was now a mess is now organized on...wait for it...on 19 1/2 bookcases. They are not double-booked, and every book is alphabetized by author. I ended up taking two extremely old bookcases that I had planned to use as storage shelving and three more that Doug's office was going to get rid of, to get us up to 19 1/2.

Right now I'm working my way through the books to get them all in LibraryThing. It is an AMAZING tool if you have a large library. I use a little scanner (that I bought for $15) to scan the barcode on the back of the books (if the books don't have barcodes, you can add them manually using the ISBN or LC catalog number, or by author) and all of the information about the book is immediately populated on our LibraryThing account ($25 for a lifetime (!) membership). Then I tag the books with whatever categories I want (such as history, evangelism, fiction, etc.). It's ridiculously easy to use--I showed my grandmother and she was just shocked--she thought it would make librarians obsolete!

I'm through the first part of the P's, and we have 2400 books logged so far!!! I think we're going to hit 3,000 by the time I'm done.

Right now, I have a small worktable in our second library room, and it is piled high with books that are duplicates (some are the result of our marriage, some are extra copies that Doug intended to give away, and I believe some are the result of having a messy library and forgetting what we had!). I'm thinking that right now we need at least two more bookcases to finish the project--one to hold all of the duplicates (which we will work on giving away), and one to hold all of my children's books (right now they are stacked four deep on a ledge near our window). And, of course, though I've done my best to leave spaces for more book purchases, I'm sure we'll need another bookcase for all of the books before the summer is over.

I think it will probably take me through May to get all the books into LibraryThing, and my project in June will be organizing our CDs (they were organized in Annapolis, but, sadly, the movers un-organized them for me). More on that later--it involves cats--you'll definitely want to check back for that.

1 comment:

Charissa said...

You must be one of the few families that has more books than the Mitchells. Although, given that we buy books in stacks around here, we might catch up...