Sunday, November 9, 2014

Let's chat about book collections

I actually have just started actively working on my collection of books this year. Which seems weird to me, because I have read my whole life (I am currently 22) mainly I just borrowed books from the library and friends, because my family couldn't really afford to spend money on books?

Although on the rare chances I got books, I cherished them. I would take books from anywhere, and anyone. If you were actively looking to get rid of books, I was your go to girl. Eventually school and life got super hard and I stopped reading. 

Last year I started reading again, and collecting books (i.e., caring about conditions) and I went from having about 30 books to having over 200 which is slightly crazy. If you counted my reference, children's, and others the number would be closer to 400. If I added all my husbands books the number would surely be close to 500. 

Due to my early reading/collecting I have a pretty indiscriminating library. I have books from a wide range of genres. I recently reorganized and found that Classics, and also General Fiction are my largest genres. I have been working on trying to buy collectable, perfect additions of my favorite classics. Its been a slow but fun process. 

Originally I was going to be getting rid of the older copies, the beat up, well loved editions but I found that I couldn't bring myself to. I also find that I like the way my library looks with the mix of new/old/antique/first-edition. 

I have been having major anxiety about losing these books that I am working so hard at collecting, that I have made the choice to only lend out books that aren’t that important to me, and also only lend out my “well loved” editions. 

I have been talking with people about book collecting lately, most think its odd, what do you mean “collecting”. The seem to think its wasteful to have all the books. I have an end goal. I would say about 78% of my books are read. But all of them will be read before I die, which I am pretty young so hopefully will be a very long time. Earlier this year I set out a plan. What do I want out of this collection? Whats the point exactly? 

I spent most of this year thinking about those two equations. I came to the conclusion, that I want a collection/documentation of everything I have read over my lifetime. I want to pass this down someday to my children (if I decide to have some). I want these books to be cared for, for the next generation. I want knowledge, no I crave it. Books give me that. Oh and I love reading. Always have and always will. 

I do spend lots of time weeding out the library, and working on collecting. Not everyday, not everyweek, but randomly and for short periods of times. 

Now lets talk about exactly how I organize my genre/books. The main genres that I own are : (in order of amount) 

1. NON-Fiction Reference

This one is sort of obvious. Being that my husband is a college grad and me still being in school it's our biggest collection. It's so big that I have had to create sub genres. This is sort of exactly how I think. My husband is a software engineer. So I have a bunch of his books. I call them stann but honestly its organized my topic and catagorized as 

2. Childerns Books

I used to read a buch of little book. It's lucky that I had a mom that was a teacher. I have probablly over 200 but I haven't actually really counted but its a bunch. I have them organized by theme rather than, genre since childerns books tend to be different. 

3. Adult Fiction

This is sort of two genres/subjects. I have regular (adult)  fiction that is current and new authors. Then I also have a classics shelf that has, as you guessed, older books and such. They are both organized by author, and then also alphabatacilly by title (unless its a series, then I just go by the first book in the series title).

*should be noted that my classics also have childerns books/younger classics in them. 

4. YA Fiction 

This is extremely similar to the previous one. I keep "middle grade" and "tween" in this section. I have it organized by auther and also alphabatacilly by title (unless its a series, then I just go by the first book in the series title). Because mostly my reading has been "classics" and other genres, I have missed out on tons of series and popular books. I am slowly working my way through them.

*My theme for 2015 or better yet goal, will be to collect all of my "middle/ya" books that I missed. 

5. Bios/Memoirs

This is a growing section for me. Lately I have been really interested in these types of books. I really enjoy reading about life stories. These books are organized by author, rather than by subject or person they are about. I tried that and I found that it got really confusing and complicated. 

6.  NON Fiction 

This is my most compicated section in my bookshelf. I have it divided by War / Military / Presidents / Laws / Trials  on one self. This is organized by subject, war /battles ( for example WWII or Battle of Little Big Horn)  or person ( for things like presidents or military generals). The on another shelf I have things like Politics / Religon / Mariage / Relationships.

7. Other 

I have a few genres that don't really have enough to make one shelf for I keep graphic novels and self help/inspirational books on the shelf with memiors/bios. 

I hope this gives you an idea about how to organize your collection. 

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