In which The Great Rearranging may be upon us

It is not outside the realm of possibility that I have too many books. I know, it’s unlikely, and I’m not 100% sure that “too many books” is actually a thing, but it’s possible. What is definitely true is that I don’t have enough room to arrange the books that I have properly.

I am currently faced with a week off from work, and because I am an American I am viewing this less as an opportunity to relax and more as an opportunity to “get things done,” because the possibility of going a week without working or “accomplishing things” is just beyond my ability to comprehend. And I find myself casting an eye upon these bookshelves, and their current state of overpopulation, and thinking about opportunities to give myself a job that I can complete half of and then ignore for a year.

If you look at the top shelf of the middle bookshelf there (the top shelf, not the books stacked on top of the bookshelf) you will get an idea of what I’m thinking, because I rearranged that one as a test. I’m wondering what I can do if I shift to mostly vertical stacking on the bookshelves, especially the books that are currently perched on top of the shelves themselves. In theory, so long as the shelves themselves hold up, I can stack those clear to the ceiling– and if I use only completed series for them, which I’m also thinking about, I can put things up there that aren’t going to be rearranged all that much.

Understand that that is only the top half of less than half of just the bookshelves that are against that one wall alone, if you want to understand the magnitude of this job I’m contemplating.

I dunno. If I think about it long enough, I can switch over to stressing about how I had a whole week to get it done and didn’t do it. That won’t be especially mentally healthy, but it would certainly be less work.

On my bookshelves

Mei-Mei asked in comments to the last post what I do with all of my books after I’m done reading, and it occurs to me that I don’t actually think I’ve done this post yet, somehow. Let’s take a tour of my house! Without cleaning it first, because … I really should have straightened the place up first. Oh well.

Also, yes, we only have one child.

We begin in “the back” of the house, the room that we have never really settled on a name for. This is technically a CD/DVD rack, and these are all paperbacks, and it needs dusting quite badly.

Same room, on the other side of the sliding glass door to the back porch.

Opposite wall, with Star Wars hardcovers, general fiction, comic books, Stephen King, and Brandon Sanderson, and also featuring my telescope and the boy’s home-made robot costume.

On to the living room!

Getting a good angle on this bookshelf is kind of tricky because of where it’s located. That top shelf will never contain books as it’s where I throw my wallet and my keys and various and sundry things I need to keep track of. The rest of it is basically all black history.

To the right behind the lamp is not a smaller bookshelf; that’s actually a piano.

These four bookshelves are on the wall behind the one you just saw, and are part of the reason it’s kind of tricky to get a good shot of that bookshelf. Subjects include religion, presidential history (the third shelf, left to right, the one with Thor and Hawkeye on top, has at least one book by or about every legitimately elected President of the United States, plus my Lincoln shelf,) education, and history and philosophy of science.

The next few pictures are all on the same wall, opposite this one:

Mostly fiction, with some history scattered here and there, especially on that very top part, along with comic books and role-playing games.

My leatherbounds and two shelves of mostly nonfiction, although the books that are stacked in front and not properly on the shelves are more likely to be fiction than not.

To the right of the TV, entirely fiction, plus the top shelf of Books By Me And People I Know. Also some overflow from the black history shelf.

On to the bedroom!

Fiction, a couple of shelves of my wife’s books, and yearbooks and photo albums. Top left is the (empty!!!!) unread shelf; note that the four books on the unread shelf are not part of the unread shelf. Two are ARCs that are due for a review in July sometime and so don’t count yet and two are eventually going to be moved to the People I Know/Indie Authors shelf and I just haven’t gotten around to it for some reason. Also, a litterbox.

In the office are several boxes full of my own books for whenever I’m able to go to a con again and exactly two shelves, one of hardback Star Wars books and one of generic fiction hardcovers that I didn’t have a better place to put. The shelf itself is in a corner and buried behind a bunch of stuff so I didn’t bother getting a picture of it.

Also, back in January I took, I think, six banker’s boxes of books into the basement, with the understanding that if by January of 2021 I hadn’t found a reason to go looking through them, I was going to donate them to someone. So this would have had probably another 100-120 books scattered throughout if I hadn’t done that.

I think I’ll spend my whole weekend cleaning now.

6:06 PM, Friday, June 12: 2,039,468 confirmed cases and 114,446 Americans dead. I keep almost doing a much more comprehensive “this is not going away” type of post with these numbers; perhaps I’ll do that this weekend, in between dusting every surface in the house.

In which I have reawakened the beast

… not for roleplaying, mind you– for buying dice. I took my son to the Griffon yesterday and it somehow managed to end up costing me fifty bucks, coming home with a new set of dice for him and my wife (each) and several totally unnecessary new sets of dice for me, including that metal d20 right in the middle there. I have, since then, taken to perusing Amazon for full sets of metal dice, since the Griffon’s metal collection appears to be limited to individually purchased d20s and not entire sets.

I have enough dice. I already had enough dice before I bought more dice yesterday, and I do not need to buy more dice to complement the more dice I just bought and the many dice I already had, and the part of my brain that is going dude your mom just died you’re entitled to blow some money on bullshit that makes you happy needs to shut up and go away. If I’m not careful I’m gonna end up with a dice tower this week and I don’t need that even more than I don’t need more dice.

The boy, meanwhile, is getting more demanding on a daily basis that we actually start playing. We’re gonna have to start designing characters soon. I mean, hell, we’ve got the stuff, right?

On a more serious note, I want to take a moment and thank everyone who sent thoughts or prayers or well wishes or sympathy or naked pictures or really anything my way regarding the loss of my mom this week. I was originally planning on going back to work tomorrow but I don’t think I’m quite ready yet; I’ve been reasonably busy the last couple of days and I think I need a day to be alone and quietly stare at the wall, by which I mean “read and play video games,” before I go back. I am doing a thing right now where I feel like this process should be harder, because I have not at any point in the last few days cracked open like an eggshell or collapsed into a sobbing heap, and everyone around me has told me that there is no wrong way to mourn, so believe me, I have heard the message. There is still a lot to be done, but I need some normalcy, too, and a couple of days at work worrying about other people’s problems– which, I note, will be immediately followed by a three-day weekend, since Monday is MLK day– will actually do me some good, I think.

And, hey, if you really feel bad for me and want to do something, you could always buy me more dice.

(That was a joke. Do not buy me more dice.)

I’d part with my childhood but no one wants it


Semi-serious question: anybody wanna buy about four or five thousand comic books?

I’ve been collecting comic books since I was nine years old.  Never once in that time have I actually gotten rid of any, and I’m finally hitting the point lately where I really don’t think that my current collection is going to be sustainable for much longer.  Mind you, this is not an “I want to stop buying comic books” post– I don’t.  I just don’t feel like I need to have all the ones that I currently have for any longer.  I’ll probably end up holding on to maybe fifteen to twenty percent of my collection out of sentimental or story value, but most of what’s left I feel like I can get rid of fairly painlessly.

The problem is I don’t want to just throw them away, and any other method of getting rid of comic books doesn’t actually work very well.  There’s basically no market in back issue comics any longer– search Ebay for “comic book lots” and you’re going to get a wasteland, although I can’t really believe Ebay is still in business anyway, so maybe that’s not worth much as a data point– and for the most part I don’t have any books that have massively inflated values over whatever their cover price is anyway.  My local comic shop doesn’t want them, at least partially because for the last seven years they sold them to me, and they certainly don’t want them back.  Libraries won’t deal with comics, and at that point I sort of run out of ideas.  Pawn shops?  I kinda doubt it.  Secondhand places?  The nostalgia store in the mall?  I’d be surprised.

What’s triggering this is that if I want to keep my collection in any sort of reasonable shape I need to go through and rebox everything about once a year or so.  Now, I can just buy new boxes as I go and toss shit into them, but that means that if I ever actually want to find anything ever again it would take eons.  I have sixteen longboxes and three shortboxes– so call it seventeen longboxes– of comic books; a longbox holds about three hundred books, give or take.

(Just did the math.  The first sentence of this post originally said “three thousand.”  Gah.)

Anyway, if I want them to be in any kind of order where I can actually find them again, about once a year I have to buy a couple of new boxes and then spend a day or two interfiling all the stuff I’ve bought over the course of the past year into the collection– which is complicated as hell, because there’s never remotely enough room in the boxes I have, and I have to sort of start from one end and work my way back, moving every single comic I own at least once while I’m putting the new stuff in with the older books.  It’s a bloody obnoxious mess and it becomes more obnoxious every year.  And judging from the two four-inch-high stacks on my desk and the three full shortboxes next to me, I need to do it again like right now if I don’t want to be buried in these things– and I really don’t want to be buried in these things.

I should stash them all in the basement and not worry about it, but I’m worried that if I do that it would trigger an immediate basement flood– it’s too humid down there for comic books as is– and I’d rather throw them away then lose them in some sort of home disaster.  Which is probably kinda stupid but whatever, that’s how my brain works.

So, yeah.  Anybody planning on opening a comic book store and want some quick back-issue stuff?  Hit me up.  Or just come over and steal a bunch of them.  If you can get past the dogs you can have them.

Just leave me my Iron Man books.  Those, I’m never giving up.