Monday, January 23, 2012

One Week Down, One to Go

The, time-limited "Impossible Task" I introduced last week has been a little difficult!  Not that the "impossible" wouldn't or shouldn't be expected to be...

Can't have snow without taking a
break to enjoy it!
It's just that life still insists on happening.  Snow, ice, and wind storms with all 9 of us home for a week,  literally 24/7.  Hubby and I trying to work on things in the same area at the same time.  A birthday.  Football playoffs.  A higher than usual demand on baked goods and food, in general.  And, of course, who could turn down requests for snow fun, sledding (makeshift sleds made of ski sets) and viewing the snow fort construction that gave way to snow-baseball-turned-snowball-fight?

Add to that we are trying to refinance, and the appraiser was due here at 11 AM last Wednesday, so there was lots of cleaning and projects underway for days before.  But he couldn't make it here that day, and finally called to let me know 2 1/2 hours after the appointed time.  He rescheduled for 11 AM Friday (so the troops dove in to house-neatening again), but called, at least early that time, saying he still couldn't get here, and rescheduled for 1 PM today.  
--Today, during yet another bout of industrious spiffing, he forgot that we'd agreed on a later hour, and showed up at 11.  :-/

Anyway, I have managed to continue to make progress, and still plan to have my home library complete for sharing, on time, next week.

Shelves on the right LEFT, all the way to the
back wall housed (& hid) books of all types
There have been lots of physical aspects to this task, including having and finishing the bookshelf, crawling into and through the under-stair storage to extricate a lot of them from shelves hemmed in by various and sundry items, and shelving and reshelving the tomes (some heavy!), as required for organization and fit.  But a big part of this adventure was the mental challenge of deciding on an organizational system.  

I researched home libraries on the internet and came across Organizing Books - How to Organize a Library on  GH can be a great resource for home-related issues, but not as much this time.  I didn't find the suggestion to consider organizing all of our books by color or alphabetically to be of much help, and they didn't offer any suggestions about how to organize by their 3rd suggest method, genre... So I moved on to consideration of a more official system.

At first, I thought I'd probably 'go big.' and would label and organize like our local library, using the Dewey Decimal system.  In researching that, I found that some people prefer the Library of Congress system, of which I had heard, but was unfamiliar.  I printed out the categories for both and compared.  Dewey has a smaller number of categories to help separate things, but was more familiar.  Both seemed too complex for our needs, and I had other things I needed to consider, such as having most-often used books within a reasonable reach in a unit that's almost 9 feet tall.

I ended up grouping books into sections that would work for us, and placing them in an order that seemed the most natural for how we'd need and view them.

As a result, here are our categories (and sub-categories) I decided on,  and the approximate sequence.  I flexed and adjusted as I loaded the shelves :

  • Bible and Bible-related (devotionals, commentaries, children's Bibles)
  • Parenting
  • Reference
  • Homeschooling (guides, references)
  • Language Arts (reading, handwriting, grammar, writing, vocabulary)
  • Math (early, general, algebra, geometry, business & practical arts-related)
  • Science (general, earth, biology [humans, animals, plants], physics, engineering)
  • Geography
  • Pacific NW
  • History
  • Biographies
  • Antique Books and Classics   They don't necessarily fit the sequence, but they provide an attractive focal point in the upper center section.
  • Crafts
  • Art (history, painting, drawing, drafting)
  • Architecture 
  • Construction
  • Home Decor
  • Recreation
  • Foreign Languages
  • Textiles and Sewing
  • Fiction (picture books, early readers, young adult, adult)

I ended up with more books than shelves, so my hero, Hubby, is working on another section of shelves to place across the room in the spot he'd suggested beside the dining room door.  That one will hold the first 3 sections shown above: Bible, Parenting, and Reference works.  The rest are happily at home in the bigger shelf, awaiting labels, and the final unveiling.  Please tune in next week for that!

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