My Library

* NOTE: Clicking on on the images will bring up massive photos in case you want to pick apart and laugh at my collection!  This also originally appeared on Unbound!

I am not the boss of my house.

I say the above with no sense of shame. I've been married to my wife (affectionately known as "the Missus") for six years, and we've been together for almost 17. In all that time she's let me engage in whatever geek-fueled hobby I wanted, and in return I gladly and willingly gave up all control of any major decision regarding how we live. Believe me, it's better this way.

So when it came to our domicile, she was firmly in control of all decorating decisions. I was given one room, which we affectionately call "The Man Room" and it contains 95% of the books I'm allowed to keep in the house. Please note the preceding sentence: it's not "all the books I own," it's "all the books I'm allowed to keep in the house." The one rule imposed on my library is that it's exactly that: with very few exceptions (my beloved Harlan Ellison collection, volumes of poetry, select comic trades and my out-of-proportion Shakespeare criticisms) any books that have been read have to be packed up and put into storage.

So the above picture is, with few exceptions, all the books I haven't read yet (you also get a bonus glimpse at where I drink massive amounts of coffee and write bloggy stuff). So in essence it really is like a library. No real rhyme or reason to how it's arranged. Although books are loosely groups together by author, they're most decidedly NOT in alphabetical or chronological order.

It's hard to point out where things are, but that's one of the things I like about my (lack of) cataloging system. When I finish a book, I roll around in my comfy office chair and browse everything looking for a new book.

So the upper-right corner hold my nice editions of Ellison and other golden 50's-60's SF including Hal Clement, Cordwainer Smith, and Norman Spinrad. A couple shelves down and to the left are some history and science books, but wedged in there is also short story collections, a biography of Truman Capote, and a couple horror/fantasy books.

Mass-market paperbacks or the books I buy used from thrift stores or book exchanges (that's how I got almost all of my Agatha Christie and Ed McBain novels on the bottom left) are generally relegated to the bottom shelves. Music and film references sit next to comics, SF, horror, and more literary fare.

Comics are everywhere in the house, but the main stash is sitting there above the shelves. Note the prominent display of my Scott Pilgrim books on the left. It's almost as if I wanted to emphasize it for some reason...(I did. It's awesome).

The nightstand holds all the "on deck" books I grab from the Man Room in order to make my decision. I should note that what winds up in the "on deck" pile is almost NEVER read next, and changes at the drop of a hat. Am I the only one who does this? Please say no! And that's about it! Tune in next time as we plumb the depths of the basement to behold the dreary lair of the "read books" - provided I can gather the courage to face the hordes of crickets and spiders the Missus tells me she's seen down there.

 No lie. Insects scare the crap out of me.