Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Total Book Organization

So, my fellow academics and other people who regularly move large quantities of books: do we think that it would a valuable use of my time to catalog all my books with a program like this, and then further keep track of which book goes into which box when I move this summer?

Pluses: keeping the right books with me is the bane of my existence. I'm not a good note-taker, I tend to either remember something or have to look it up on the spot. So, when I'm immersed in writing, I like to have the appropriate books with me. If I'm going to get writing done during this hectic summer*, total book organization will be necessary.

Also, I like gadgets. Being able to use a web cam as a bar code scanner? Awesome.

Minuses: I could probably write a dissertation chapter in the time it would take me to catalog my books, thus freeing me from the need to write this summer. Plus, I would be embarrassed to tell people how nerdy I am.

In other news, many thanks to the illustrious Professor Ford at Dial M for thinking I'm a thinking blogger. Cheers! If it's a four-way tie, though, do I get to nominate five thinking bloggers myself, or just one and a quarter?

Speaking of musicology blogs, I have to warn you: rumor is, there might be yet another musicology group blog starting up by this fall. Can the blogosphere handle three such unnatural beasts?

Incidentally, for all of you bloggers lounging around sipping your coffee and contemplating a day of writing and snood, I just today gave a final exam. I will not miss the quarter system.

*This summer I am spending a chunk of July watching the ol' ball in chain graduate in England, and then coming back to LA to pack up my apartment to move before August 1. The best part is, I don't know where I'm moving to yet. Haha, fun!

9 comments:

sushipjs said...

Gosh! That program is even more nerdy than EndNote. Who would have imagined!

Rebecca said...

Being both a nerd AND someone who just relocated across country with all her books, I can speak to this.

YOU WROTE:
If I'm going to get writing done during this hectic summer*, total book organization will be necessary.

This is true. But if you are like me, you have books that are essential for the big D, and those that are not. These will really be the only two groups you need to take care of.

YOU SAID:
Minuses: I could probably write a dissertation chapter in the time it would take me to catalog my books, thus freeing me from the need to write this summer.

While less glamorous, you could keep a database in an Excel file (as I started and never finished). Since I had all my dissertation books in the same place, it was quite easy for me. I packed them in the same box (two boxes, actually) and marked them up like a wild woman:"Dissertation!!! UNPACK IMMEDIATELY!!!" They were so well marked that one of the moving guys actually asked me to define "dissertation" for him. When I was done, he seemed pretty content with his own profession. (I, on the other hand, have absolutely no desire to carry heavy boxes on my back).

My point: I'd concentrate on the writing and just do the bare minimum for the books until you are settled in your final destination. Just make sure your "dissertation books" are easily accessible and distinctively marked.

Caroline said...

Congrats on the diss year!!! (I haven't heard anything, but you moving means diss year, right?)

BBound said...

When I wrote this post last night, I was actually planning on just moving come hell or high water, but this morning I found I did indeed receive a diss year. Phew!

Rebecca, this book organization project was inspired by your similar post on the subject a few weeks back. You're probably right...but the allure of a web cam bar code scanner might suck me in...

Joel A. Nichols said...

i say, move to Philadelphia. And when you're here, recruit your dorkiest and most book-and-order obsessed friend (ME! maybe with a tiny bit of help from Ruth for the finer points of order) to help you put the books away...

Joel A. Nichols said...

and the bohemian grove story reminds me of TOTC...did you see this "Michael Tolliver Lives" business??

Donald said...

Here's another library cataloging program to consider:

http://www.librarything.com/

BBound said...

I had not heard of this Michael Tollive Lives! Have you read it? I kind of thought of the Night Listener as already being the contemporary sequel.

Joel A. Nichols said...

nuts. my friend joe is reading it and ray has laid claim to it when joe's copy is up. so i'll see soon..