1 EAGLETON NOTES: I Like 'Organised'.

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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

I Like 'Organised'.

I was looking at my bookcases this morning and wondering what to do with all the books sitting on the coffee table waiting for a home.  The books on the coffee table are some of those which I have acquired (either bought or been given) over the last few months.  That doesn't include Kindle acquisitions of course. The problem is that the bookcase in the living room is full so if any of the recent acquisitions are to be housed there some of the old ones have to go into the bookshelves in the loft.  That's all very well but they, too, are full.  I'm an Edwards.  We only dispose of books if we really have to do so.


One of the things that happens when books disappear into the loft is that they also disappear from the front of my mind.  This means that when I go into a charity shop and see a book I want I may already have it.  That's happened a number of times.  

Some years ago I started a list of all my books on a spreadsheet.  Somewhere along the way it got neglected.  Earlier in the year I acquired the software Delicious Library 2.  I heard about the programme when visiting a friend who mentioned it in a post here.  Having all my books catalogued and organised really appeals to me.

I sometime wonder if I don't spend too much time organising my books and too little time reading them.

25 comments:

  1. You could start by binning the Marmite cookbook. Even the charity shops won't take that.

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    1. You either love it or loathe it. This is one thing, Marcel, upon which you and I disagree.

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    2. Really Marcel! I saw a fight in our Oxfam shop the other day as two old ladies hit each other over the head and batted their opponent with their handbags - all over that very same Marmite book. In the end they got thrown out so neither of them got it and a chap who looked remarkably like GB bought it.

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  2. Vegemite for me...

    i had to face this recently - managed to thin down at least five boxes. Not without heartache but I realised I struggle to read all the new ones and I won't want to reread ALL of the old ones, so just kept a few special ones. In my mind I still own them! In reality, I can get them from a library again another day if I must.
    I cant share my kindle ones - and I cant share all my old print ones anymore either.
    C'est le vie?

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    1. I just can't get to grips with Vegemite or New Zealand Marmite both of which are quite different to UK Marmite.

      Many of my books are reference books which are not really needed now that we have Google and other search engines which provide all the information in a much quicker format anywhere. However instead of getting rid of them I keep adding to them. I just find it very hard to part with books I like. There's no logic to it really: just emotion.

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  3. An eclectic selection here.
    You need a scanner so you can read the ISBN #'s. into the programme. Then don't forget your I-pad when book shopping. I suggest building an extension.

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    1. Adrian the Mac has a camera and a scanner app is built into the program. Soon it will be possible to use an iPhone to read the bar code with the program. It can be exported to be read on a spreadsheet on the phone as well. Whether I'd ever get around to that is another matter. This isn't a 'need' program for me it's a bit like you and all your image manipulation programs.

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  4. You know how much I love things neat, tidy and organised! Since I don't own as many books as I used to, I don't need to catalogue them. When there's too many and they start cluttering up my shelves (I hate double-rows exactly for the same reason you don't like to put books in the loft), I sell or give away the ones I am sure I won't read again.
    The kindle helps enormously in that I can still have a book at hand without it taking up shelf space.

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    1. I confess, Meike, that I thought of you when I started writing the post and particularly the title. The Kindle is a great help but much as I am a devotee of the Kindle it doesn't satisfy my innate need to be surrounded by books. My parents' house was and my brother's house is the same in that way.

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  5. I too love having everything organised. All our books are in a spreadsheet and are shelved using the Dewey decimal system - it annoys Ian because he can never find anything, but works for me!

    As for getting rid of books I've become a lot better at it over the last couple of years. I'm getting much more ruthless and having space rather than clutter makes us feel much calmer.

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    1. Helen, I've been getting rid of lots of 'things' over the last few years because, although I do have a lot of stuff around the place I always feel happier when things are tidy and uncluttered. For me it's a question of balance: memories v clear space. I have to confess that some years ago I did get rid of a lot of books and I have no problem for example if I dispose of cherished books provided they go to a good home. So far that has happened to two complete sets: my Russian novels (most of which I had read though not always from the set and they went to a very good home!) and the complete works of Dickens (none of which I had read in full nor would ever be likely to read).

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    2. You are your mother and father's daughter all right, Helen, - using Dewey, how great is that.

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  6. Ah, the " innate need to be surrounded by books". There you have it. Get more bookshelves, and enjoy them. Some have this nee (we do) and some don't. It's better for you than smoking.

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    1. Most things, Frances, are better for you than smoking. If I got more bookshelves I'd not have enough room for my pictures and music. Choices, choices.

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  7. Reading this post earlier today reminded me of something else (not books) that I felt a need to organize and so (it seems) I went and did that instead of commenting here! :) I also needed to look up spreadsheet... Okay, we just call that by another name in Swedish...

    I've been using the spreadsheet in the Works software on my computer to keep a list of the books I READ over the past 10-11 years. I never kept a list of the books I own though. I do have some down in my basement storage room as well but those are all such that I mean to give away next time I have a good opportunity to do so. I tolerate some (partly) double rows on certain shelves... I still have my books organized so that I know where to look for what. Well... more or less ;) It still happens sometimes that I automatically go into the living room to look for my photo albums (or some book I keep or used to keep in the same shelf), although I moved all those (the whole shelf) into the study six months ago! (duh!)

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    1. Looking for things in places you think they are, Monica, is even more of a problem if you are a) as old as I am, b) never had a good memory anyway and c) have books in two homes and often get puzzled as to why such and such a book isn't where it 'should' be.

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    2. The age thing I'll wait to comment on until I'm as old as you are (so you better keep blogging!). I can well imagine that having two homes does not make it easier to remember what you keep where, though.

      Just now I'm trying to control my book hoarding instincts as we are preparing to sell the House. The past weekend I "only" took home two more... One of them weighs nearly 3 kilos, though!

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  8. The ceilings of the upstairs rooms are bowed under the weight of books in the loft. There are bookshelves in every room (even the downstairs loo). I don't need a spreadsheet, I need therapy.

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    1. CJ even by Edwards standards you have taken book collecting to a whole new level.

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    2. Aren't you afraid that by compromising the ceiling with heavy book loads, that it may fall in one day and hurt Ivy? I'm not too worried about you......

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  9. I am facing the same challenge, GB. By the way, is the Domesday Book on the coffee table the sci-fi book by Connie Willis? Or an historical treatise of the actual article? If it's the one by Connie Willis, that's one of my favourite books -- and one of the ones with which I can't bring myself to part. I even know where I put it, wonder of wonders. But the huge stack of books on the dresser by my bed is a real problem. It includes the Peter May "Lewis trilogy" among others. Must keep those!!

    Good luck with the clear out. We'll be anxious to see what sort of system you come up with. xoxox

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    1. Carol the Domesday Book is a modern complete translation of the of the original document. Peter May's Lewis Trilogy is on my Kindle but as soon as I find copies in a Charity Shop/Good Will Store I will have 'real' copies too.

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    2. "wow" on the Domesday Book :-)

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  10. Well knock me down with a feather...I'm also doing a book cleansing as well. I'm not cataloguing my books though. I'm getting rid of books I have already read, and have no intention of reading again.
    I am however keeping all those by my favourite authors and some other reference books.
    Organisation is a GOOD thing....love it.

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