Sunday, 29 April 2012

Five months on ... and some progress needs to be made

Last year I began the process of sorting out my toy/wargames room, and by the end of November I had pretty well got my wargames figures (both painted and unpainted), model vehicles (again, completed and incomplete), and terrain into some sort of order (and storage system) that made sense to me. I then decided that the next stage would involve sorting out my books ... but somehow I never got around to it.

I realised this today when I went to look for a book ... and could not find it. I also realised that I have books on my shelves that I have not read for years, that I am not likely to read again, and which duplicate information that I have in other reference and history books. So tomorrow – assuming that I am feeling a bit better – I intend to begin the great book sort. I expect that it is going to take me quite some time, and that during the process my toy/wargames room will be even more of a mess than it is now ... but in the end I will have a slimmed-down library of books that I want, need, and will use.

Anyway, that is the intention ... and if I don't do it now, someone will have to do it at some time in the future, and I would rather that that person was me.

10 comments:

  1. Bob,

    I sold a lot of books a few years ago at a local convention. I started out trying to price them individually, and it was such a huge job I gave it up. I priced the better, more unusual stuff individually, then I got boxes and labelled them with prices. I had boxes for $1, $5, and $10. Anything higher than that was individually priced. I had a bunch of $1 and $5 boxes. It worked better than I ever would have thought. The same people would come back again and again apparently sure they would find something more the next time, and they usually bought more. U
    Now, I was not attempting to get top dollar for everything, and I ended up doing very well. I had a local book dealer come over and buy the rest of what I has on Sunday afternoon. I made him a good deal.
    I was surprised at how good it felt to get rid of stuff I wasn't using, and get money for it also.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will be monitoring your efforts closely. I too have a great many books and I suppose there will be some that I will never read again and there will be others that duplicate information.

    My past responses have resulted in piling books into a box and stashing them away somewhere. This is fine until you go looking for a particular volume and you cannot locate it.

    I have recently bought a second copy of a book I thought I had and couldn't find and eventually found it again in a box. I think I have done this more than once. I know I have done it with rulesets too!

    I need help with a plan, you go first Bob!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds familiar. My number 1 hobby priority after the convention will be getting my room sorted and renewing my efforts to dispose of what is no longer required for service.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bill,

    Thanks for the excellent advice.

    I did something similar about 10 years ago, but with my unpainted lead mountain. I bagged up figures by size and type, and sold them in lots of ten to twenty figures at very low prices ... and they all went! I had no preconceived ideas about price, and wanted to sell rather than keep what I had, and ended up making more money than I expected.

    I have sold stuff on eBay, and might have considered going that route again, but the effort involved when you are selling a lot of stuff does not outweigh the financial return.

    I happen to know a book dealer who will give me a reasonable price for what I have, and what he does not want will go to the local charity shop.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jim Duncan,

    I also have books in boxes as well as on my shelves, and my approach to sorting both out is going to be:
    1. Is this a duplicate? - If so, get rid of it!
    2. Do I have another book that contains the same information and/or is better written? - If so, get rid of this book!
    3. Have I read this or looked at it since I had my toy/wargames room built? - If not, give serious consideration to getting rid of it!

    When we had our loft conversion done, we had boxes of stuff that had not been opened for nearly 20 years ... and when we did open them over 95% of what was in them was disposed of.

    I will keep you informed about how I get on.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ross Mac,

    I should have done this job last year ... but I lost momentum and/or I had 'sort out' fatigue. I need to do this, if only to make space for future projects and I am going to do it whilst I have the desire/drive to do it. I know that it is not going to be easy ... but in the end I will have a smaller, leaner book collection ... and more space to display what I do have.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had a similar problem, when my shelves were full I put the books in plastic stacking storage boxes. I numbered the shelves and the boxes then created an excel spreadsheet with columns for box/shelf number, title, author, language and general subject. Now I can just sort the sheet by author or subject and it will show me which boxes they are in, also whether I have any duplicates. I also wrote the box number inside the book cover in pencil so I know which box it has to go back in.

    I found this system works very well, hope this helps, Brian

    ReplyDelete
  8. Brian,

    That sounds like a wonderful system, and I shall give serious thought to producing a catalogue of my books once the sorting-out process is over.

    My problem is that I don't have room for any more storage in my toy/wargames room, and I have to prune as well as reorganise my collection. I also have to give some thought to the possibility that in the not too distant future my wife and I may have to down-size to a smaller house or move to another part of the UK. Better to have a lean, keen, wargaming machine before that than trying to do it when I have no other choice.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bob,

    As a man deep in thrall to the book hunger myself, can I recommend library thing.com. It's an online book cataloging service. Its free for the first 200 and a very modest fee thereafter.

    Highly recommended.

    Also if you're getting rid of anything napoleonic or Indian I'd certainly like a look...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Conrad Kinch,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I have made a spreadsheet for all the books I am getting rid of, and may well add my remaining books to it in due course.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete