Overtaken By Books

Here at YPS Manor, there are a lot of books. Between the two of us, we have two undergraduate degrees, a JD, and an MBA. The majority of the textbooks used for the acquisition of all the sheepskins are still resident. J reads constantly on current affairs, politics, and history, plus the sci-fi/fantasy that threatens to swallow the bookcases whole. I read even more sci-fi/fantasy, plus cookbooks, technology, and almost anything else that looks interesting. It's a rare event when we can get out of a bookstore for under $50. This includes shopping at Half-Price Books and similar discount outlets. If the books are cheaper, that means I can afford more of them, right? A bookstore trip can become an all-day affair for me. Did I mention the book club memberships? We currently have two, and I'm about to pick up another one. (I had to wait until all the books were put up and shelved, except for the ones I'm actively reading.*) YPS Manor collects books the way other people's houses collect dust.

I'm not joking when I tell you I have the very first book I ever read, plus the vast majority of all the ones I've acquired since then. What this translates to in practical terms is a plethora of bookcases. One of the reasons we chose our current house was because it had a lot of built-in shelving in the living room. This was a valiant effort, but in retrospect, clearly inadequate. We also have about forty-'leven IKEA bookcases to handle the overflow. All told, I'm guessing we have about 250 linear feet of bookshelf, or in simpler terms, a buttload.

It's finally reached the point that during the recent painting of the guest room (which also has built-in shelves, which are now full) we discussed the problem of cataloguing. Our current ad-hoc category breakdown is no longer serving us as well as we would like. So the question naturally arises: what do we do now? Well, obviously, if you're us, you debate the merits of Library of Congress cataloging versus Dewey Decimal. LC seems to be winning at this point.

This is actually the continuation of an earlier project that got temporarily sidelined to figure out just what we have in terms of books, and make a database. So I guess we'll be going back in and adding a column for the LOC number. I'm sure this says something, but I'm not sure what.

*In case you were terribly interested in my reading habits:
Maelstrom, by Peter Watts
The Measure of All Things, by Ken Adler
Saying Yes, by Jacob Sullum
Treason, by Ann Coulter
How to Design and Build Your Own House, by Lupe DiDonna and Phyllis Sperling
Patterns of Home, by Max Jacobson, Murray Silverstein, and Barbara Winslow
A History of Mechanical Inventions, by Abbott Payson Usher
The Power of Babel, by John McWhorter


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