Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not Enough Bookshelves

During my two-year doctoral leave adjuncts occupied my office at HU, so I'd had to move a lot of stuff out to give them room to put their books on the bookshelves. Most of the books I moved home were ones I thought I'd need for my research. Quite a few books, actually. Add to those the ones I acquired during the course of my doctoral studies and you can imagine how many books were stacked all over the second story of our house.

When I finished writing the dissertation a month or so ago, my husband helped me move all those books back into my office at HU. We just piled them on the floor in a corner because I planned to reorganize as I reshelved.

A couple of days ago, I thought I'd spend the afternoon whipping my office back into shape. Easy, right?

I soon discovered that one afternoon will not be enough. It's not so much the simple act of placing books on a shelf that takes so long. It's deciding where to put what. Do I organize by time period? By author in alphabetical order? By gender? (That makes sense if you realize that one of my areas of concentration is Women's Lit.) By genre?

I think I need to block off at least a whole day for this task. And I'm gonna need more bookshelves.


Sarah said...

You should choose some completely arbitrary organization method and tell students you'll give them extra credit if they can figure out how your books are arranged.

Jonathan G. Reinhardt said...

I usually end up using the "method" called "I think that book is somewhere over here..."

Stephanie said...

That's been my usual modus operandi, but I'm trying to do better. I'm afraid, though, however I arrange them, I'll still be saying, " I think that book is somewhere over here . . ." so maybe I should just save myself the trouble.

Lara said...

I can't wait for your library to be back around the corner from my office. Yippee!! Can you make me a library card?

I have a big rolling mail cart if you need transportation.

Stephanie said...

@ Lara - Having an office next to yours may be dangerous. We may have so much fun neither one of us gets any work done!