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books, books, books March 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — panthergirl @ 11:18 pm
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So I had this crazy idea that I'd clean out all the book shelves. It was one of those jobs that start out with you full of enthusiasm for it, but then about half way through you wish you'd never started, but you can't just leave it because there's mess everywhere.

Basically I decided the books needed sorting into authors. Because they were scattered all over the place. So I took all the books from the back shelves and sorted them.



But then I decided there wasn't much point to it unless I included the inside book shelf as well. And not just the books, but all that crap on the other shelves as well.



So this is the pile of books I decided could go. Either can't remember them or boring. So either the library or the second hand shop for them.



Staring to get organised now. Bio's, authors, one offs, poetry and bla.



And inside. Next job is to sort through that box full of toys someone left there. They don't want to take them with them or keep them in their rooms, but they want me to keep them somewhere.



The highest pile there was Colin Forbes. I loved him. That was before I had kids. I can split my books into before kids and after kids. Before kids I could read more complicated spy mysteries with a lot of characters. After kids I went to easier stuff like Jackie Collins (she's the other big pile there), that I could read at the same time as watching three kids at the beach. Now I tend to walk around the library and grab anything and give it a go. Can't afford to buy as many books any more. Very expensive here in Australia.

Now Bryce Courtenay. He writes some big books. Reading one of his books is like a history lesson. Someone gave Mum one of his books for her birthday and she said she felt exhausted just looking at it. They're hard to read lying in bed. Take some finger strength to hold up. I think my favourite book of his is April Fools Day, about his son who was a  haemophilliac who died from AIDS which he contracted through a blood transfusion. 



Then I had to put all the books back. I have to put them two deep on the shelves and I always have a struggle deciding which ones have to go in the back row where they can't be seen. Tough choices. I read a lot of biographies and autos for a while there. These are some of my faves.





There's a book there called An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan and it's probably my favourite book. If not favourite then definitely the one that has stuck in my mind. I read it about 15 years ago and I still often think about it. He was in Beirut in 1985 and he was kidnapped by Shi'ite militiamen and was kept prisoner for four and a half years. Most of it he spent alone but he did spend some time with John McCarthy who had a huge group of supporters trying to get him released. It was an amazing story of survival. And I notice it's not in the front row – must change that. What else, hmm David Beckham. I'm a huge Beckham fan. And not just because he's gorgeous and well mannered and well behaved. The knockers can say what they want – you don't get to be captain of the English soccer team because you look good. And there's Someone Elses Daughter about the murder of Anita Cobby in Sydney in 1986. That was our first really horrendous crime. The one I remember anyway. And of course Lindy Chamberlains story. Shame Australia Shame.

So now I'm off to clean out the ornament shelves. I hate ornaments. I'm hoping to throw a few away without whoever owns them or whoever gave them to me noticing.

Of course after I organised the shelves I realised I'll never be able to buy a book by one of my authors because it'll stuff up the whole system.

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33 Responses to “books, books, books”

  1. oh my GOD you are so brave! I would never try to sort and organize my books in a day: there are just too many of them, and I go into spasms of agony at the thought of giving up even one. And don't get me started on those little ornamental objects you collect over the years and pile up all over your bookshelves. I hate dusting because of them, though my friends in IT suggested using canned/pressurized air to blast the dust off of them. It works, but you never really get the dust off of the shelves, and if the ornaments are really dirty the dust just flies all over the house and onto the rest of your furniture.

  2. I love Evil Cradling too! It is an amazing book. I have recommended it to loads of people.
    Well done on the book sorting. We got rid of a lot when we moved but still have way too many. You could always try selling yours on ebay if you could be bothered (I can't).

  3. MexicanRobot Says:

    LMAO… and I was complaining earlier today because I thought I had so many books [like 30, or less… who knows?] and I don't have a book shelf…

  4. cat Says:

    lol, I've been putting it off for ages, but once I finished all the painting the messy book shelves ruined the look of it. I haven't been able to give up books either, but I was very firm with myself. And I did go through them just to make sure. Plus I gave a lot to a friend so it wasn't too traumatic.
    My daughter used to love giving me ornaments. I'm going to have to be sneaky to get them by her.

  5. cat Says:

    Amazing book, what the mind is capable of withstanding.
    I figure if I give the books to the library they can sell them then use the money to buy more books for me to read. I hate giving them away though.

  6. cat Says:

    You'll be amazed how fast they breed over the next twenty years. Start building a bookshelf NOW!!

  7. CynthiaB Says:

    Thanks for sharing your pain. I was laughing out loud not at you, but with you!

  8. cat Says:

    oh yeah, sure, thats what they all say

  9. daddy-fu Says:

    Having done a similar job I appreciate the effort you've put in here, that is most excellent.
    In my case I made it even more difficult for myself by not just organising by genres (bios, history, law and politics, sf etc) but sub-genres too. So there's not just fiction but Australian, Beat, European, classics, miscellaneous modern. Not just speculative fiction but "hard" science fiction, "soft" science fiction, pre- and post-cyberpunk, fantasy (Lord of the Rings, basically) etc etc.
    Never again. And now all new books just get chucked in on top of the others 'cos sure enough, I've run out of room again and have no shelf space anywhere else in the house. Nuts.

  10. cat Says:

    lol – well that organising of yours sounds like someone with a slight disorder of some kind!
    I realise now I've done it that it's pointless really because yes, as soon as I buy another book, the plan is ruined. Like when the cd's get organised. As sson as you pull one out to play it you stuff everything up. But I did get to have a sense of accomplishment for a day or so. And it is pleasing to walk past and look at them all lined up neatly isn't it.

  11. daddy-fu Says:

    Well, astrologically speaking I'm on the Leo-Virgo cusp so perhaps I'm just naturally inclined towards precisely organising something like a bookshelf and then standing back and proclaiming loudly "See? See what I have achieved here?".
    I'll refrain from talking about cds, but yes. It Ended Badly.

  12. cat Says:

    lol, I feel your pain

  13. Waterbaby Says:

    good job. i couldn't possibly make my usual 1-3 moves a year with stacks like that! so, sadly, i keep my books really really whittled down and borrow from the library.

  14. Jem Says:

    Please please please can I have a look through your books before you give them away. Ps2boy and I have a nasty bug which involves alot of tissues and toilet paper. When we are well I can I please come around. You seriously don't want this šŸ˜¦

  15. Doug Says:

    I have given up all hope of ever seeing my books in order again. The filing system is now a Noguchi variant, i.e., they are shelved chronologically. Good luck finding it!

  16. nice work! organizing bookshelves is a chore (yours are very nice shelves), but so nice when you're done.gotta tell ya though, i cracked up when i saw the David Beckham book on your shelf. he has a book? LOL! i just find that remarkably funny.

  17. cat Says:

    Well he didn't write it. ANd it's an interesting story. He was picked as a very young boy by Manchester to play football and had to leave his family and move away. It wasn't a book about clothes and makeup.

  18. cat Says:

    Yes, I can't see too many turning up on the shelves as I can't afford them anymore so I'm a big library borrower as well. Some of these I've been carting around for over twenty years.

  19. cat Says:

    I am just about autumn cleaned out. I also went through all the old home movies and put them on discs and am determined to finish sorting the rest of papas slides. Then I'll have a break

  20. cat Says:

    This is the last time I will ever do it! I mainly wanted to clean the shelves after the floor sanding people left such a mess and it seemed like a good opportunity. And it is nice to have all my favourite authors books together.

  21. cat Says:

    Too late, got sick of waiting for you to turn up. Cheryl's already been through, then Kimba and Nat.

  22. Sounds like a huge pile of work! But isn't the feeling of space and clearness afterwards just so rewarding?

  23. cat Says:

    lol, oh yes, definitely – I love walking around looking at all the neatness and order. And it's much easier to maintain now two kids have left home.

  24. MexicanRobot Says:

    No… My friend's house doesn't have enough books yet. So I'll just use his bedroom as storage.

  25. cat Says:

    Good – there should be no such thing as a house with not enough books.

  26. Inga Says:

    I love, love, love Bryce Courtenay. Reading his books is like having a kindly old gentleman sitting on the edge of your bed telling you a story (in a completely non-creepy sense).
    Have you ever checked out It's a cute way to get rid of books you don't particularly want to keep.

  27. cat Says:

    My son went to a young leaders thingo and heard him talk, he said he was very interesting. I do love his books as well, but they can be hard going sometimes. I hadn't heard of bookcrossing but I will go check it out. Thanks.

  28. Leicca Says:

    Wow when I first saw the images here, I thought the post was about cleaning up a book store, or maybe a coffee shop.Impressive amount of books there, next time the hubby complains to me about buying another book I will tell him that my book collection is nothing compared to what it could be šŸ˜€

  29. cat Says:

    Ha – that would be my dream come true actually, to be trapped in a coffee shop/book store.

  30. Jack Yan Says:

    This, to me, is a real slice-of-life blog post. I love it. And it is sad books cost so much in our part of the world.

  31. cat Says:

    So they are expensive there as well. It's ridiculous, the only place I can afford to buy a book is Woolworths and they're still over $20, and the selection is very basic.

  32. Jack Yan Says:

    I tend to save up an order of about three or four (or pool with friends) and get them in via Amazon. It is ridiculous. Even local authorsā€™ work costs an arm and a leg.

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