Izod’s Bookcase

Izod's Bookshelf 7

I had a totally different plan for this, but when it turned out that it was completely unfeasible, this one worked out really well instead.  When I first found out that Atlas was pregnant, I decided that the baby would get as a first Christmas gift from me a collection of my favourite children’s books.  I’ve been picking them up second-hand at various thrift shops, and I aim to continue to do so whenever I find one that is right.  But so far, I have a pretty good collection of Roald Dahl, some Doctor Doolittle, the Narnia series, and a few of the classics.

I bought the bookshelf at IKEA.  I wanted to re-vamp a thrifted one but I couldn’t find an appropriate one and this one was inexpensive and the exact size I wanted.

Izod's Bookshelf 1

I took off the back panel of the bookshelf and set it up against some nice blue fabric, which I cut to size.

Izod's Bookshelf 2

Then I glued it onto the back with hot glue.

Izod's Bookshelf 3

Because the fabric made the panel thicker, I used a craft knife to widen the slots on the back of the bookshelf.

Izod's Bookshelf 4

So now it fit, and it’s all in place.

Izod's Bookshelf 5

I’d originally planned a nice stencil here, with contact paper and spray paint, but I discovered that if you use spray paint on contact paper it peels back from the design and doesn’t work.  So I ended up free-handing Izod’s name here with craft paint and it worked out really well.

Izod's Bookshelf 6

And it’s all finished.  I hope he has many adventures with some of my favourite stories!

Izod's Bookshelf 8

Extreme Organizer: The Total Nerd Edition

Total Nerd Edition

So you already know that I’m a librarian.  Organizing books is kind of what I get paid for.  I also have a lot of books at home, most of which I like to wave around in the hopes that they will magically help me write my thesis.  And so I can remember the names of the authors through osmosis when my thesis supervisor asks me to back up some theory or another.  But the collection is growing, and it’s getting a little out of hand, hard to find some things.  So I decided to catalogue the whole thing using Library of Congress call numbers (LCCN).

Total Nerd Edition

I love walking through the narrow, ceiling-high stacks of MUN’s QEII Library.  For all of MUN’s failings, they did a good job on their book collection, and it’s rare that I can’t find what I want.  MUN, like most university libraries in North America, uses the LCCN system, which is sorted by subject.  I spend my time mostly in the Gs and Hs, but occasionally I branch out.  I’m not looking forward to the day when I have a real job and no longer have access to libraries like this, with free journal articles at my beck and call.

Book Stacks at MUN library
Book Stacks at MUN Queen Elizabeth II library. Photo (with thanks) via Rob’s Photo World on Flickr.  Click on the photo to see the photo stream.

The best part about the system is that when I’m looking for a specific title, I can always find other titles on the exact same subject (like hegemonic masculinity in team sports, for example, one of my pet subjects) right next to each other. So I figured that if I did that with my own personal collection, then all my own books would be adjacent to books on similar topics, which saves me a search. In addition, if I have a book at home and I know the LCCN for it then I can go to the library and know that any book with a similar number will be on the same topic.

Total Nerd Edition

So I did it.  I have about 450 books, and it didn’t take that long, a few hours here and there with a pen and some address labels.  Most books, at least the academic ones, will come with the LCCN printed on the back of the title page with the publication data, along with various other standard call numbers for other library systems.  Others you can look up through the Library of Congress website, or the library of some academic institution.  There were a few books, just a handful, where no LCCN existed, so I had to kind of fudge it and make it up based on books on similar topics.  But for my own personal system that’s okay.

Total Nerd Edition

Now that it’s all done, there is some stuff that feels to me like it’s mis-catalogued.  Like my anthology on the anthropology of sport is right next to stuff on ritual and performance theory.  I mean I guess it makes sense — it’s just not what I’m used to.  But I’ll get used to it.  And as my collection grows I think the order will make more sense as I fill in some of the blanks.

Total Nerd Edition

So that’s it — you have just seen the heights of my total nerdiness.  I bet you can’t wait until I get back to baking.

Total Nerd Edition