Another Book Meme

G Zombie has tagged me with yet another book meme, this time featuring general questions about book collecting practices. Since I’ve recently moved, these questions are now in the process of being renegotiated, which is a little disorienting.

1. How do you organize your collection?

I separate fact from fiction. American novels go on one giant shelf. British novels go on a smaller shelf. Theory, criticism, and other non-fiction fill the other three shelves. These rules are somewhat fluid, however. I regard Brecht’s plays as theory as much as they are drama. And Dennis Rodman’s autobiography, Bad as I Wanna Be goes on the shelf with my collection of American fiction. I’m also careful to alphebetize each section by author so that I can find that book quickly.

2. What books or records do you keep separate from your collection for easy access?

Until this year, none. My organization made it very easy to find whatever book I needed (plus my theory bookshelves were about three feet from my computer desk). But now that I have a real live office, I’ve gradually been bringing many of my media history and theory books into my office. I usually keep a few style manuals available for easy access as well.

3. When you take down a book for reference, how long after you finish it does it take you to reshelve it?

Usually when I’ve finished a final draft of whatever article or chapter I’m currently writing. In some sense, this is a significant ritual for me, providing me with a sense of completion. This process also works really well when I return a huge stack of library books.

4. What resources do you keep separate from your collection because you don’t want anyone to know you have it?

None, really. I have a huge baseball card collection (thousands of cards, easily), but I don’t currently keep it in my apartment because I move too frequently (3 times since 2000) and don’t want to lug them all over the country.

If anyone else wants to play along, they’re welcome to do so.

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