Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Books/Boxes, Boxes/Books...

I have been putting off starting to pack. Partly this is because I wasn't sure if I was ready to move, partly because I had no idea where to start!

I'd collected a load of boxes from work (the first of many loads I think), got some brown tape (although I want a tape gun now) and even found a black marker to write on the boxes with - but didn't start.

Today I did.

So far I've done five boxes (1 x Penguin, 2 x Transworld, 2 x HarperCollins) of books, only the tip of the iceberg. I had to be careful about how I started to pack them too. What I wanted to do was group them in boxes the way they need to go on the shelves...but I'd be here til next June doing that! In the end I did it the "booksellers way" - by size.

It was quite freeing really, grabbing an armful of 'A' format (think most crime, horror, fantasy) and filling a whole box with them. Some Anne McCaffrey, the Chalet School series, the Redwall series, a scattering of Enid Blyton, a few Kelley Armstrong... they all went in together. I've emptied one whole bookshelf of 'A' format, leaving behind the occasional stray hardback for an author.

Yes, it might be a bit of a bitch when it comes to unpacking, but better that I faff about arranging them and listing them on spreadsheets then, rather than doing it now and not being packed the day before I have to move.

Since I have also rediscovered LibraryThing it's a good thing for me to pack my books quickly. I keep losing whole chunks of time by popping on there to just change a couple of covers to the correct ones for my editions and then getting sidetracked. I actually even made it a paid account since on a free one you can't have more than 200 books, but when I loaded up my spreadsheet it loaded all 500+ and I had a note from them to say:

Hi Kate,

I've noticed you've managed to catalog more than 200 books yet remain an unpaid account.

As the terms of use state, "LibraryThing users may not subvert the system. For example, right now there is a bug that lets you add more than 200 books without paying if you do it in a special way. If you do this by accident, fine. If you do it on purpose, you have legally promised to pay us $10. Fork it over."

So I did. (Especially since I'd had that note back in Oct but only went back on there the other day and they hadn't deleted anything or suspended my account).

When I went upstairs I decided that the first thing to tackle should be a big box (Penguin) full of paperwork that was part mine, part the Yetis. It turned out to contain things like my debt management paperwork from three years ago, old cards, copies of C.V.'s and all sorts of leaflets and tat. I got ruthless. If I found any of my payslips I kept them, but everything else went into a bin bag. Yes there were things like P45's and P60's in there, not to mention chequebooks and exam certificates... BUT NONE OF THEM WERE MINE!!! Like I'm gonna throw my stuff away like that hehe. Very very satisfying in a way.

I eventually stopped packing boxes when Foley came and sat on the one I was trying to seal in a "Both of us have had enough of this, come and have a snuggle" kind of way. So Foley is snuggling on my lap while I type this, and I'm actually cooling down enough to need to put my jumper back on.

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