I took a bulging bag of books to my local used book store on Friday. I ended up with $65 worth of credit, some of which got used immediately on a selection of books I've been looking for.
Behold, the book haul:
It was a good day!
So far, I'm giving the side-eye to 2020.
The good news is, I've been reading; re-reads, so the TBR isn't dwindling, but progress!
As y'all know, we've had record breaking drought and jaw dropping bushfires down under, but Mother Nature has relented, in her own twisted way, and for the last week or so, we've had rain. So much rain. This time last year, our YTD rain was 5mm / .2 inches of rain. This YTD: 92mm / 3.6in. For a Florida girl, it doesn't amount to more than an afternoon thunderstorm, but for Melbourne it's a godsend. Except that the majority of that rain all came in one day - last Sunday - and not before the hail. OMG the hail:
One of the hail stones MT grabbed out of the garden, compared with a quarter.
All of its friends, stoning my garden.
MT and I might be a little odd, but we were at the back door, videoing the icy golf balls falling from the sky, running outside (this was MT - I have my limits) to put boards over the fish ponds and generally oohing and 'holy crap'ing. When it was over though, MT discovered that our skylight in the bathroom was no more. Smashed to smithereens by a hail stone or stones unknown. Less fun, but really, in the grand scheme of things, no more than a drippy, albeit expensive, nuisance.
So, we caledl the insurance company Monday, and they sent someone out to temporarily patch the roof/skylight until the assessor comes out tomorrow. And, here's the punch line: he patches the skylight with the orangest tarp you've ever seen resulting in a whole new look for our sea blue bathroom:
Rave? Bordello? Old-school photo developing room?
The glow on a sunny day is so intense it *pulses* out the door into the hall. It's hilarious.
In Bookshelf news, the hail storm ended up putting paid on our planned progress to cover the next corner of the library, though we did make some headway. This bookcase, which is really two bookcases stacked:
came out, revealing something we should have remembered - that the bookcases were installed before the room was painted.
Luckily, we still had the paint, and we always have painting supplies, so this was not as big a show-stopper as it could have been, or the hail storm proved to be. And we did get some temporary shelves up above the fireplace:
Our neighbor is back home tomorrow, and MT has everything setup to get the new rails installed, so maybe we'll be back on track this weekend, though I'm not holding my breath: we have family in town, and my SIL, my niece and I are going to see Cursed Child on Saturday, an all day affair, and Monday MT and I are going hiking for my birthday, which is on Tuesday which is also the first day of the school year and therefore my first day back to work. Fate can be such a fiend sometimes.
So I'm still in the midst of slumpaggedon, but in between constantly hitting refresh over the weekend, checking to see if BookLikes was back up, my attention was consumed by our latest home project, which I've alluded to in my previous 2020 post.
The start of this DIY saga goes back to last May, when MT took possession of what was to become the company's new premises. It was formally a sushi bar, and the owners left the space abruptly, leaving everything in situ. The landlord refused to do anything to fit out the space, so MT negotiated with him to do it himself. This meant we (I) had first pick of salvage, before the contractors came in, and part of the sushi bar was the bar itself. A huge, solid, hardwood thing of beauty. The contractors dismantled it for us, and we've been storing it. Because I had plans ::rubbing hands together::.
It took some time to sort out exactly the way I wanted to do it, and the recent influx of furniture from MT's parents caused a complete re-think, but over the holidays we finally fixed on a plan of action and started ordering the necessary bits.
Last weekend, MT and our incredibly kind neighbor with the cool woodworking tools started ripping the planks and cutting them down to size. As you see above, we started on the wall behind the door - that way, if we screwed up it would be easier to hide it.
As you can see, we have high ceilings (14ft), and we're going all the way up. I've done shallow shelves up top, as I'm planning to put paperbacks up there, and I didn't want the room to feel too top heavy. We're also going to go all the way around the room, with plans to do the opposite corner this weekend. We've already started, in fact:
Those planks above the fireplace are temporary so I can get more books off the floor; they'll be replaced with long shelves that span the width of the fireplace. We just have to wait until the neighbor returns from holiday so we can cut the planks for the next section.
Stay tuned for updates.
How do you order the books on your shelves?
Umm. It's ... complicated. Or at least, multi-layered.
1st sorting layer: Genre / Topic
* Classics and LitFic
* Mysteries and Suspense (everything from Golden Age and classic noir to contemporary, including spy fiction, except for historical mysteries)
* Historical Fiction (including historical mysteries)
* Supernatural & Speculative Fiction (fantasy / sci-fi, supernatural, horror)
* Nonfiction: History and Biography
* Nonfiction: (Popular) Science
* Nonfiction: Law and Economy
* Nofiction: Philosphy
* Nonfiction: Dictionaries
* Nonfiction: Travel and Geography
* Nonfiction: Artist Biographies (classic rock and movies / theatre)
* Nonfiction: General / Other
* All things Los Angeles / Southern California
* All things cats
* Coffee table books
2d sorting layer: Language and Origin / Setting
* North America (USA and Canada)
* UK (with a separate "Scotland" shelf)
* France / French Literature
* Hispanic Literature (both European and Latin / South American)
* Portugal and Portuguese Literature (including Brazil)
* Scandinavia / Nordic Literature
* Eastern Europe
* Caribbean (English and French language; Hispanic Caribbean see above)
3d sorting layer, version (a): Alphabetical by Author
E.g., in the shelves for North American, Irish, Scottish, French, Hispanic, Portuguese, Italian, Eastern European, Russian, African, Caribbean and Asian literature; ditto some of the nonfiction shelves.
3d sorting layer, version (b): By Era / Topical Association
E.g., in the shelves for English and German literature (roughly, by historical era), nonfiction history (ditto) and most of the other nonfiction shelves, as well as all of my mystery, fantasy / sci-fi / supernatural / horror, and cookbook shelves (mystery: by sub-genre, e.g., British Golden Age, classic noir, etc.; speculative / supernatural fiction: by type (fantasy, etc.); cookbooks: by region and publisher).
This includes dedicated shelves for my favorite authors (e.g., Shakespeare, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, the Mann family, etc.).
Even without having entire dedicated shelves to themselves, books by the same author are kept together; series are generally in publication order.
3d sorting layer, version (c), as well as a sub-layer by expedience to all of the above: As shelf space allows!
The more frequently this occurs, the more it is obviously a sure fire indicator that the acquisition of more shelf space is becoming a matter of urgency. (Problem: There is only so much more shelf space that I can add -- read: not a whole lot.) Currently most prevalent on my "Scandinavian literature" and speculative fiction and supernatural shelves ... as well as on the dedicated Shakespeare shelves.
(The photos in this post are, incidentally, from the time of my major shelf reorganization a year ago. Since then, things have, alas, generally taken a ... decidedly less organized turn yet again.)
From atop a ladder, just after I finished putting the last of MT's books up.
The view from ground level. Not as invisible as I thought it would be, but not unpleasingly overpowering at all either. Very happy with the result, if also a tad depressed about how little shelf space this actually freed up for me.
I swear the books expand to fill the space without any help from me.