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Author Topic: Do you catalog your books at home?  (Read 5014 times)
joey_fan
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« on: September 09, 2007, 12:31:09 AM »

Do you organize your bookshelves by genre, size, alphabetical order?
Do you use any special computer software program to keep a master list?
Do you allow your books to mix with your SO's?
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drsyn
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too tired to think


« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2007, 12:35:28 AM »

By genre and auther.  Sometimes I alphabetize the titles for an author.

But then, I love books.

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SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES.  NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS
patchouli
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2007, 1:00:44 AM »

I catalog mine by general subject, narrower sub-topic, then author.  I sometimes mix mine with SO's, except for my professional specialty or his. 
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collegekidsmom
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2007, 1:05:46 AM »

there are some nice online tools now for organizing home collections-like
LibraryThing.
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kaysixteen
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2007, 1:12:00 AM »

I'd love to have enough money to keep my 5000+ books at home, rather than at a storage shed.  But I have never had a home big enough to do so.  Ah well.  I will catalog them when I get to have them.
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marlborough
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2007, 1:16:16 AM »

All mine are labeled with their LC number on the spine (I hate the Dewy library sytem, especially for history books) and shelved that way in my office and at home.  I use a handy shareware program, OXD Software Book Organizer.  Since I'm up over 7,000 these days, they have a special rider on my home insurance and I have a copy of the computerized catalog off premesis.   I get the Gaylord library supercatalog and buy labels and special librarian tape and acid-free boxes with great glee (and book repair supplies for books rescued from abusive situations).

When I bought my house, I had carpenters come in and build shelves along all the basement walls, and then purchased Gaylord steel library shelving to freestand in the middle.  Then I bought a big dehumdifier. 

Yes, I'm aware this makes me a lunatic.

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merce
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2007, 1:24:38 AM »

what a coinquidink.

Funnily enough I just clicked over to the CHE in the middle of entering books into Librarything.


usually my books are organized by subject

but right now I've just moved and been too busy to organize yet.
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anonymath
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2007, 9:21:43 AM »

My books are organized mostly by author, although I keep separate sections for textbooks and cookbooks.

I've also been addicted to LibraryThing, and all my books except my cookbooks are there. It's fun to see how many other people have the same books as I do.
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As for the rest of your analysis, Anonymath, I agree.
john_proctor
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2007, 10:07:13 AM »

Do you organize your bookshelves by genre, size, alphabetical order?
Do you use any special computer software program to keep a master list?
Do you allow your books to mix with your SO's?

I've got a pretty large private library, about 5-6K volumes. I have a home library where I built in bookshelves, floor to ceiling, on all four walls (with cut-outs for the windows, doors, etc.).  My office has three walls floor-to-ceiling, too.  They have spilled over to elegant piles on the floor, as well.

1.  By subject.  Subdivided in my field by general Dewey sequence.

2.  No.  I can generally remember what I've got.  I've only bought a book I already had once (it was an impulse buy.  The out of print book was in a 2d shop at a low price.  I couldn't remember for sure if I had that particular volume, so I bought it, knowing I could move it on to a fellow grad student).  I have, however, checked out books from the library that I owned a couple of times.

In general, as I look for the volume in the relevant area, I either: find it immediately (3/4 of the time), take less than 5 minutes finding it, OR I find two or three other books that I haven't read/thought of in a while and end up sitting in the floor reading them.

This is a very agreeable arrangement.  Cataloging the books would be taking time that I could better spend reading them.  The serendipitous (re)discovery is one of the joys of our work

3.  That would be grounds for divorce.  My entire system hangs on my ability to remember "that was over here."  Such has been trained by daily, slow repetitions.  All those magnificent memories of where everything might be, hung on delicate webs of habit and routine, would suddenly precipitate with a crash.  All would be lost.


My biggest problem is keeping up with what's at home and what's in my office.
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drsyn
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too tired to think


« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2007, 10:33:27 AM »

I'd love to have enough money to keep my 5000+ books at home, rather than at a storage shed.  But I have never had a home big enough to do so.  Ah well.  I will catalog them when I get to have them.

Are the conditions in your storage shed ok for books?  You might be further ahead selling all but the irreplaceable the books and starting again when you can have them in your home.

It would be awful to store them for years and find that they were ruined by damp or insects.

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senay
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2007, 10:40:17 AM »


1.  Sort by nationality of author.
2.  Organize authors chronologically.
3.  Alphabetize titles within author category.
4.  Separate shelves for unread, cooking, and library books.

I need more shelves.
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aviatrix2007
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2007, 11:44:44 AM »

This is all very interesting, folks! My string of responses/questions:

john_proctor: You can "generally remember" where your 5-6K books are located??
senay: That chronological method is intriguing...

I have a strange method of shelving that works for me, but others find bizarre. I shelve by order of acquisition. Somehow it's easier to just remember that the brand new book goes right after the most recent book I bought. I'm not to the point where I keep a catalog of acquisition numbers, BUT if I have to start lending books out to people I may need to.

(which reminds me of another question: Do any of you actually lend your books out?)

Has anyone here read Henry Petroski's The Book on the Bookshelf?
« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 11:45:31 AM by aviatrix2007 » Logged
john_proctor
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2007, 11:53:47 AM »

john_proctor: You can "generally remember" where your 5-6K books are located??

(which reminds me of another question: Do any of you actually lend your books out?)

1.  Of course.  I just did it 20 minutes ago.  I got up to get the title I wanted, went to the general area on the shelf, thought to myself "let's see, it has a blueish cover.  It was over here, next to Eck right?  Ah.  Here."

2.  Never
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aporia
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2007, 11:58:57 AM »

I've got a pretty large private library, about 5-6K volumes. I have a home library where I built in bookshelves, floor to ceiling, on all four walls (with cut-outs for the windows, doors, etc.).  My office has three walls floor-to-ceiling, too.  They have spilled over to elegant piles on the floor, as well.


I want your library, JP. ;-) I've always dreamed of having a room like that in my house. I don't even have a house at this point, and the vast majority of my books are in storage.

Organize my books? What a concept.

Actually, when I had them with me, I did organize them by subject, but not beyond that. I'm not that well-organized, although I'd like to be. And if I had thousands of books, I think it would be a necessity.

I have a strange method of shelving that works for me, but others find bizarre. I shelve by order of acquisition.


Before I moved, this was kind of the way I did it, and then within that, the ones I used the most tended to grouped together.

And no, I never, ever loan my books out because they never seem to come back, and the person I loaned them to will usuallu say, "you never loaned me that." I just tell people that they're welcome to read it in my house (or office), but not to take it with them.

(If I'm feeling particularly snitty: "The campus has a library. Use it.")


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gennimom
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2007, 1:06:10 PM »

We've loaned out a couple, but we're careful who to, after one or two never came back.

We alphabetize by author for the fiction, which has its own set of shelves. The professional books have another set of shelves and are organized by subject. Then there are the hardcover fiction. They have their own shelves and are organized by series. I have no idea how many we have.

I started a list on Excel but have no idea what happened to it. Probably got lost in a change of computers. GD keeps saying he'll start one, but I haven't seen it yet.
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