Reflections on a Cleaner Library

For the past year and a half or almost two years, my office housed the last of our old guard cats, the small half Siamese we got around the turn of the century. After the penultimate of the old guard died and shortly after we introduced the replacement cats, she developed a disdain for using the litter box, so we isolated her in my office and closed the door, wherein she had her own food and her own litter box, and she was less crotchety. She got ill, and on Sunday before church she was put down, and I buried her with the others. For the first time in a year, my office door is open.

I’ve removed the cat litter from the office, and I have started extensive cleaning operations, including spending four hours dusting all of the unread books on the four bookshelves in the office and the two small shelves of mass market paperbacks.

Ah, that’s better.

In addition to dusting them one by one, I reorganized them, making sure they were tight in the shelves, and I reversed some of them so that the books that were in the back were now in the front. It will give me a fresh set of books to look at when I go to pick something to read.

As I worked, I was delighted to find some really interesting books I would like to read. Clearly, I’ve thought about each volume as I bought it. It made me want to read, but before I do, I have to get through a couple library books I checked out for no other reason than I’m nuts.

Other thoughts:

  • When I read The Carolingian Chronicles, the support material mentioned another contemporary source A History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours. I found a copy that I’ll probably read sooner rather than later since I’m on a Frankish kick.
  • I found like four different volumes of work by and biographies of Ernie Pyle, the World War II correspondent. That’s probably pretty comprehensive.
  • But only one autobiography of Ernest Borgnine.
  • But two of William Shatner.
  • The most represented historical figure on the shelves is Winston Churchill. I’ve got a pile of his histories and a couple of biographies. I guess it’s been two years since I read anything about him.
  • I shall soon come to the tipping point, believe it or not, where I will have read more than half of the Executioner novels I own. Of course, that’s only if I don’t count the related series. Still, I’ll take the encouragement where I can.
  • I have a shelf and a half of Stephen King books, and I’m not really in a hurry to read them. They’re very thick, and so many times I’ve been disappointed.
  • I have several Dean Koontz, and although they’re not as long, I’ve not liked the ones I’ve read by Koontz very much barring the Odd Thomas titles.
  • I even have a John Saul or two, and I’m not a real big horror fan.
  • I have a bunch of technology and programming books, most of which were out of date when I got them. And some that were not are now.
  • This includes a couple Apple and Commodore books.
  • I’ve managed to make room on my shelves (and by make room, I mean there are not many horizontal books stacked upon the two ranks of vertical books per shelf. So I should go to some book sales.
  • I’m having a little trouble with the $25 book shelves I bought a decade ago at Target. They were not meant for the load I’ve put on them, and they’re failing in different ways. The holes holding the pins are breaking, the shelves bow down so I have to flip them every once in a while, and now the sides are bowing outward so that the shelves don’t reach the pins. I could get some new, better bookshelves, I suppose, but that would require moving all these books again.

I found far fewer duplicates than I’d expected.

Free books.

Normally, I just dump my duplicate books off on my brother and assume he tosses them. But if you see anything you’re interested, let me know in the next week or so and I’ll bundle them off to you. The remainder go to my brother or perhaps ABC Books in a trade.

Titles include:

  • The Shining by Stephen King. I’ve already read this, but it must be before the blog.
  • Skeleton Crew by Stephen King. Just think of how many shelves I’d have of Stephen King if I didn’t put them all together to see what I have.
  • The Demons at Rainbow Bridge by Jack Chalker. The first of the Quintara Marathon series. I have the whole series in ex library books, so the paperback is expendible.
  • The Romances of Hezekiah Mitchell, a book often found in the Ozarks section of used book stores. Apparently, I’ve found it there twice.
  • The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. I read it in middle school or early high school, and I bought two hardback copies of it. I only need one.
  • Old Goriot by HonorĂ© de Balzac in the Classics Club edition.
  • A ten volume set of The Great Ideas Program by the Encyclopedia Britannica people in 1959. It’s a selection of readings of great books sorts of things broken down by subject (Philosophy, Ethics, Imaginative Literature, and such). Did I have two complete sets? Of course I did. Don’t be ridiculous!

As I said, if anyone’s interested, let me know. Shout out and they’re yours.

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