Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Living Room Book Case Update

     Not sure If anyone remembers my book case, hand made from oak keg pallets from Miller Brewing Company, my previous employer. (Link for the curious on how it was made.) Well here is a quick update on the books that have found their way in there over the last few years.

Book case dimensions: 15.5 feet long by 8.35 feet high by 18 inch depth. Holds 3 rows of paperbacks per shelf, or two hardbacks. 36 books per row, 3 deep, with some stacked on top and piled in front. Runs the whole length of my living room, end to end. The TV pictured is 70 inches, for scale.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Vintage Science Fiction Book Covers Part 4: Ace Doubles

     Yes I know, it's been a while. In the effort to put together an article documenting Ace Doubles, I was taking pictures for said article, and realized it's been a while since I've done a book covers post. So, here you are. Ignore the price stickers and so on, I did not get around to taking them off, and I kind of like them on. 

                         Check out Parts onetwo, and three of the book cover series.

Check out Parts one, two, and three of the book cover series.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Easton Press Neuromancer (Happy Birthday to Me.)

     A gift from my mother for my birthday on Saturday; Neuromancer Easton Press Signed Edition. I'll be honest, I did not take the shrink wrap off the book, I'm going to leave it exactly how it came to preserve it. Not that I don't own several other copies of the book, it being one of my favorite science fiction novels of all time. Learn more about how to get one at Easton Press here.

    Little known fact: The picture of the cover scan on Wikipedia (linked above) is a book I sold on eBay. When I previously found first editions of the release paperback for sale pretty often in the late 90's and early 2000's, I sold quite a few on eBay to earn more money to.. buy more books. I wrote a few small articles on why the paperback is scarce, and thus the picture was used almost everywhere, pre-google images.

    Read a post I wrote about Neuromancer back in 2012 here.

(Picture from Easton Press)

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lets Organize Your Library

     I've spent all weekend, literally six hours each on Saturday and Sunday, organizing the books in my bookcases around the house. Taking in to consideration the amount of time I put in to just getting things loosely sorted so I can see things better, I thought I would put a few minutes in to a post about keeping your library organized.

On having too many books:
     I have too many books. Once you have three layers of books on the same shelf, you will never know what is in the back two layers, or the few books perched on top. My way of combating this is simple, I put all the one off, lesser known authors in the back. With those books, any new or non series paperbacks get tossed in there with them. If I'm pretty sure that I will not be completing a series, or it is not a desirable author, then you get to the back of the bus. My advice is to buy more bookcases until your significant other gets pissed, then get one more for good measure.

By series, or by author, or.. or... by publisher?
     If you have under 500 books in your collection, alphabetizing may be an option for you. The question remains, do you split up the series if they have different authors? Do you keep all your Del Ray books on it's own shelf? What about the yellow cover DAW originals? I kind of do both, depending on what I'm looking for at the moment. Moorcock, you get your own shelf, but if it has a yellow cover, you go with the DAW's, because I'm after those right now. Asimov, your all alone in your triple stacked glory. No real answer here.

Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Spelljammer and Eberron, oh my.
     I'm a complete nut for Forgotten Realms. Each of these series of books has series within them, and sometimes another one to spin off of that. Example: The Harpers, and the Finder's Stone Trilogy, which both have books that cross over in to the other series, and back again, and have several spin off series, one off books, etc. It's a mess, but one I was more than excited to tackle in 11th grade, 20 years ago. I read every single one. In these cases I just put the series together, and try to keep them on the same shelf, or layer, in the same book case. It's very satisfying to see everything lined up by number.
Clean your books.
    Stickers, gunk, pencil marks, even pen needs to be taken care of when you are organizing your books. Get a rag and eraser, some alcohol and set up a little prep station. Some may only need a light dusting, and once the shelf is empty, dust that too. The frequency you do this is up to you, I bet I clean off the shelves and look at my books every three months or so with my son. He likes to look at them and help me while I organize, which is great.

    They are all different sizes, height and width, what gives? They take up a ton of room on your shelves, but man, do they look great. I have a great answer for hard covers; just toss them on the shelf in size order, and don't double stack anything that is above the bottom shelf, the shelf will bend over the years. If you can marry up a series or author and the size is similar, go for it. I typically do not buy hardcover books unless they are something special, vintage or first printing.

Taking notes! Damn you Piers Anthony.
    I make a few notes of books that I thought I had, but are mysteriously missing from library. This happens constantly. I was wondering if people were just borrowing my books when I was not home, but ruled that out. Dust jackets go missing, covers get ripped, I just write it all down as I see it, then when I'm in the wild I try and get those books to replace the abused ones I noticed. All of the above is especially true with my Piers Anthony collection; he frequently writes more Xanth books, books are re-released very often with new covers, some of his books are so old they are literally deteriorating as I dust them. I pride myself on having a complete Anthony catalog, but I'm no longer up to date, and I'm always on the lookout for better versions of the rarer, older books.

All pictures taken by me with a broken iPhone.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sandman Book Co. Pickups

   I have a weakness for ACE Doubles and Conan, I was looking for Skyport for a while, after it was recommended to me from an old guy at a thrift store, and I had never seen that cover of Ringworld before in the wild. The classic cult paperbacks from the 50's and 60's are pure book-cover-porn material. I will admit, I made no money buying these, it was a wash. Nothing was under/over valued whatsoever, I just wanted them.