Paperback Alley

I mentioned that I’ve started the process of unpacking my books in the new house. I began with the mass-market paperbacks, for a few reasons:

  • they’re the smallest bit of the collection, so they present a relatively undaunting place to start
  • The place where I wanted to put them was ready–unlike the room that will be the “main” library, which needs painting before I start putting stuff in there, or my office, which needs some reorganizing before I start to put shelves in it.
  • I never unpacked the MMPBs that I moved to Halifax during the entire time we lived there, so starting with these was appealing since it would mean a chance to review some books I had that I hadn’t seen for nearly a decade. Also, in some cases where I had bought MMPBs during our time in Halifax that “go with” ones I previously had, I could have the OCD life satisfaction of finally putting them together.

Also, as I mentioned previously, I’m using the unpacking, sorting, and shelving process as an opportunity to build an electronic catalogue of my holdings. The amount of geek pleasure I’m getting out of this fundamentally tedious process is nigh comedic.

Having built a catalogue of the MMPBs as I put them on the shelves though, I can state with some exactitude that so far I have shelved 1297 books. This represents all the MMPBs that moved with us to Halifax, and the majority of the ones I bought while we were there1.

They look like this:

Paperback Alley

Paperback Alley 2

Being OCD man, the books are shelved alphabetically by author, and chronologically within each author (except for cases where books are in a series–then each series is arranged together in chronological order). As you can see, I’ve left myself lots of spaces to fit more books in later without reshelving everything.

I actually planned to put another wide bookcase here–you can see that there’s space for another wide on one the right-hand side–but apparently I overestimated the amount of space I would need immediately. This is a very good thing, since part of the goal of the setup in the new house is to have lots of room for future expansion. Having room to add another 8-shelf case, and the ability to add height extensions to four of the bookcases in this section (the ceiling is lower over the other ones), mean I should be good for quite a long time2.

Those 1297 books represent 16 boxes. I have literally hundreds of boxes to go. But at least I get to feel like I’m getting there.

  1. Some of the ones bought during our Halifax life got packed as “space-fillers” in the boxes with trade & HC fiction, so it will be a while before I have all the MMPBs in place.(back)
  2. My rate of acquisition of MMPBs is pretty low compared to trade & HC fiction–I think I have around the same number now as I had when we left Halifax. I had 5 of the wide tightly packed cases full of MMPBs then, and now I have 5 wide and 1 narrow with lots of leftover room.(back)

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.