Let me preface this by saying that when my anxiety is really bad, I do weird things. I either get really angry for no apparent reason or I do what I call “tweeker” projects – stuff that meth heads would do to occupy time they should be sleeping. My anxiety has been horrible for about a month. So I decided, one day, to inventory my books. To physically write down and count all my books. How hard can it be? Two or three weeks later, it’s done. Kind of.
Don’t tell the hubs, but there is a box of books in my trunk that had been residing at my parent’s house. That box hasn’t been inventoried. It will be, but it hasn’t yet. So, that box aside, the bookventory is done. I learned some interesting things.
- Some books are MIA. Whether I’ve lent them out and they haven’t been returned, or there are more books in the garage, I don’t know. My mother doesn’t know how I know there are missing books. But it’s like kids. Even if you have 16 of them, you know when one is missing. Same thing.
- The oldest book I own is a German-English Dictionary that belonged to my great-grandfather, Willie Paul, who came to America with it. It was published in 1911. It’s covered in a grocery bag cover like we used to do for elementary school texts. I love that little book. It’s a piece of my family’s history and part of the story of how they got to America. I also have Willie Paul’s German Passport.
- I have the third printing of the text book my other great-grandfather, George C. Atteberry wrote – Introduction to Social Science: A Survey of Social Problems. It’s a two volume set and I have the 1950 printing. It was originally printed in 1941. I was on bookfinder.com to find it, but could not. So, if you ever come across a 1941 printing of this set, buy it and I will gladly reimburse you. My great-grandfather wrote the chapters that would not be covered in a political science major, so the apple didn’t fall far from the tree with me. My grandma always said I reminded her of him and, after reading his chapters, I see why.
- Some statistical nuts and bolts: the grand total (not including the box in the car, plus two books I brought home) is 2,298. I think even my husband was a bit gobsmacked by that. Even I will admit, that is a lot of books. A lot of knowledge. And that’s after I gave away six boxes of books.
- There are some duplicates. How could there not be when the majority were boxed up for six years. I will raffle those off to students.
- I own 21 books about books. If that’s not nerd, nothing is.
- I own 116 books about the JFK Assassination. Tell me Oswald acted alone. Go ahead. I’ve read 99% of these books and I will fight you.
- Other than general fiction, mystery is the largest single category at 379. I love me a good murder.
- I own 21 books about space and astronauts. IMHO, this is not enough.
- The most books by one author – Marcia Muller. She writes the Sharon McCone mystery series and is considered one of the pioneering writers in women’s hard-boiled mysteries. I love her books. The number is 46 in case you were wondering.
- One bonus fun fact, I own 271 books about the Middle East. So there’s another area in which you would be hard pressed to out-knowledge me.
- I own six books about the OJ Simpson trial. I have read five of them. I still think he did it. I still think the prosecution was spectacularly inept. I still hate the result.
I’m sure that there are a thousand other ways I can break this inventory down. I’m actually quite happy I did it, despite the amount of work it was that I didn’t anticipate. I learned a lot about what I read and what books I keep. I came across some good memories. I came across some sad memories. At least now that it’s done, I only have to add new ones instead of reinventing the wheel. Have any of you every inventoried your books? What did you learn? Leave your comments.
Happy Reading, my friends.