Friday, June 01, 2007

Book Piles and Bookshelves

It's tough keeping up with Steve and Dr. Hypercube but here goes. This is my nightstand pile.

This is a bedside pile that should be classified as re-reads. When I was eight, the son of a friend of my grandmother's left for college and gave me his science fiction book collection. It included these hard-cover juveniles. They started me down the long, winding road of science fiction. These books are old friends that have been in storage since we left Tehachapi, and I have been reacquainting myself with my favorite and sometimes not so favorite parts. It's just astonishing how awful "Rip Foster Rides the Gray Planet" really is. Every aspiring fiction writer should read it as a morale booster.

As we've just moved and are still unpacking, we are having to rethink our shelving arrangements. Connie is, as usual, better organized than I am and quickly got the cookbooks into these Ikea shelves in the hallway off the kitchen. We are still discussing what other books can go here, so far art books and gardening books. Those slats on the shelf to the right are hangers for Navajo rugs that we still need to place. Pity there's no Ikea store here - they have good shelves.

More Ikea shelves in the family room that I'm now filling with fiction. These are part of a set with a glass-fronted cabinet.

We've broken up the set for now, and put the cabinet in the living room to hold katchinas and pots.

This is the first time I have been able to have a room dedicated as a library. In a way it's sort of intimidating. It's also the first time I arranged books by subject matter, which slows things down considerably. I bought the first components of this modular shelving when I lived here 30 years ago, and have taken them through about a dozen moves. I found that you can still buy them, though it's been so long that the company has changed its name from Lundia to Skandia. Salespeople at The Container Store were surprised there was product that old still in use. It will be a couple more paychecks before I get enough parts to put up another run of shelves this size across the other long wall. Also I'll need more shelves to fill in.

I have to get these unloaded and shelved in the library.

And these are staged in the garage to come in when there's room for them.

Mr. Bat is still waiting for his permanent home in the library. In the meantime he's hanging out in the family room.


mdmnm said...


I think you'll get a kick out of "Ghost Brigades". Scalzi's "Old Man's War" was as fun a new piece of science fiction as I've run into in a while and "Ghost Brigades" is just as good.

Anonymous said...

"Rip Foster Rides the Gray Planet" - now THAT'S a title!

Steve Bodio said...

Mike-- we definitely have a community of interests here! Liked the Scalzi too. Maybe we should have a blog game feast here or in Albuquerque this fall?

Reid-- you notice that Gertrude Bell is on my bedside pile too.

John-- I wrote the "Alpha E" introducing you in my Edwardian guise of "Meinertzhagen".

Anonymous said...

Steve - got the copy of the email that you forwarded to me - many thanks.

Reid - which one is the gray planet, anyway?!?

mdmnm said...

Hey Steve,

Sounds good! For that matter, some friends and I got together and roasted a pig last summer. Lots of fun, but I got the skin too brown so we're going to have to give it another try. Haven't set a date yet, but we're looking at July 4-ish to dodge the monsoons. I'll give you a shout when we firm up a date.

Heidi the Hick said...

You just know that I'm looking at the photos of your book collection and just jaw-dropped with delight. Please show an update when you get them all on display!

Anonymous said...

Mike - Read both of Scalzi's and I feel exactly the way you do about them. Waiting for the third book in the series to come out in paper. Best new stuff I've seen since Ken Macleod. I like how he acknowledges his debt to Heinlein.

Dr. H - Book was written in 1952, and is quite a piece of Cold War memorabilia. The Gray Planet is an asteroid that is 99% thorium. Rip Foster and his unit of Planeteers use nukes set off on the surface to change its orbit so it can be mined while fighting off evil cosmonauts from the Consolidated States (aka Soviets). This is back when we weren't afraid of radiation. Rip and his pals get rad poisioning and their hair falls out but it's no big deal!

Steve - Blog feast sounds wonderful. I'll bring my smoker

And thanks, Heidi!