We don’t write about books around here as much as we probably should. Life, politics, history, current events, and other interesting stuff tends to get in the way. We’re OK with that, those things deserve our time and attention as well.
Not too long ago, Geoff wrote about some home reorganizing. That has been a part of a much larger multi-month cull and organize project. Part of that project has been BOOKS.
As you can tell from the name of our blog, we have a lot of books. We don’t actually know how many, but our current estimate is ~3,000. That count does not include my sheet music collection or the antique books. We managed to catalog and cull all of the books in the master bedroom, guest room, and living room so far. That’s how we got to the 1,260 number. That is the number that we’ve entered into GoodReads so far. (Astute readers will have noticed the new GoodReads widget in our front page sidebar.)
We’re cataloging everything as we go into GoodReads via ISBN, ASIN, or title. That means for some of the more obscure titles in our collections, especially for some of Geoff’s weirder history titles, that we’re having to hunt a bit to associate the books with the proper files in GoodReads. There is a growing pile of things that I’ll have to add manually that don’t have an ISBN or are just too old and/or weird to be in the GoodReads database yet.
The sheet music is indexed in a spreadsheet. Because I’m an organizational nerd, the spreadsheet can be sorted by title, composer, parts, instrument, etc. It is largely choral, solo voice, organ, and piano music. Some of this music is old enough that it is stored with the antique books and isn’t used or loaned out. I have pieces of sheet music printed in the early-mid 19th century from various places in Europe that are not only lovely to look at, they’re just wonderful to hold in your hand.
The antique books will be the last part of the job. They’ll require special cataloging that includes size, condition, and details on things like special inscriptions, author signature, and provenance. We’re lucky that we’ve got a friend who’s not only an honest to goodness librarian, she’s also a medievalist as well. And, she’s excited about helping. We’re excited about doing this, to be honest. It’ll be good to have a real handle on what we’ve got in our collection and also to be able to access it remotely. When we’re at Brimfield or an antique or book store we’ll be able to make sure we’re not purchasing a duplicate of something we already have.
The upshot to all of this is that we currently have piles of books everywhere. Yes, the living room book-case looks fabulous and the guest room is really well-organized and there is space now where there wasn’t before. But we have boxes and stacks of books in the rooms we haven’t finished yet. That is mildly frustrating, but when we’re done it will be awesome.
Then we’ll find something else to organize.